Dwight Howard trade rumors swirling

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Rumors are heating up about the possibility of the Orlando Magic losing their all-star center to a handful of teams with a higher upside of holding the NBA championship within the next few seasons. This was the story of one time Magic great Shaquille O’Neal in the summer of 1996 but it’s also the story of current Magic great Dwight Howard and the summer of 2011. History truly does repeat itself.
Howard is currently under contract with the team at least through 2012, at which time Orlando’s starting center could terminate his contract with the team and enter free agency if he chooses. Because of this clause within his contract, many media sources such as city newspaper the Orlando Sentinel are wondering if the team may look to trade Howard during this NBA off-season.

Clearly there are more than several teams interested in acquiring the big man, with rumors linking the Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets as well as other teams. One of those clubs being perhaps the most heavily interested out of all the teams mentioned are the Los Angeles Lakers.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the Lakers acquired the face of the Orlando franchise, as they were the team that would ultimately end up signing O’Neal during that 1996 off-season. During this past NBA regular season, reports began to leak of Los Angeles’ interest in possibly trading for Howard. The reports claimed that the Lakers were offering their current center, Andrew Bynum, straight up for Howard.

It would make sense for the Magic to do what Orlando Sentinel columnist Brian Shmitz stated, and go about this situation in the way the Denver Nuggets did when dealing with the possibility of losing Carmelo Anthony. Obviously, the Magic are hoping they won’t be put in this same situation and Howard will sign a contract extension this off-season, but that idea seems mere wishful thinking at this moment.

One of the aspects that lead to O’Neal’s departure over a decade ago was the constant coverage by the Orlando media, the Sentinel included. The constant stories regarding whether Shaq would stay or leave town irritated and frustrated the former 1993 rookie of the year and factored in his decision to ultimately leave. The increase in coverage of Howard’s contract situation has already started to get to the 2008 slam dunk contest champion.

Earlier this month Howard posted on his Twitter account: “Y does it seem like the writers of Orlando sentinel are trnya push me out of Orlando with dumb articles. It’s annoying.” He also went onto say in that same post, stating “Same thing u guys did to Shaq.” It appears Howard knows his team’s history.

There are no guarantees that the Magic will deal the face of their franchise this upcoming season, but then again there certainly aren’t any guarantees they won’t.

 

 

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