Friday , Jun , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard won’t sign extension with Magic, hoping for trade to Lakers?

While touring Italy, Dwight Howard told reporters, again, that he would not sign a contract extension with the Orlando Magic and planned to become a free agent after next season. Lakers, that’s your cue. Lakers, do you need to have it dunked on your heads? Trade for Dwight Howard.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Read between the lines.

Dwight Howard claims he wants to stay with the Orlando Magic. He won’t, however, ink a long-term extension with the club, preferring to become a free agent in two seasons.

Howard has an explanation for such a mixed-message: he feels a loyalty to the city, but wants to wait to see how management will improve the roster.

Sounds fair, right? Sounds reasonable, right? Well, wrong.

Howard knows what he’s doing. He knows GM Otis Smith, despite what he says, can’t let him hit free agency. He knows the Los Angeles Lakers are interested. And he knows he’s forcing the Magic’s hand.

Many think a trade between the Magic and Lakers would be imminent if it weren’t for the coming lockout. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will alter the league’s financial landscape.

The new system could have a designated player tag, which would make it possible for the Magic to keep Howard beyond the two years left on his contract.

And the new system could include a hard cap, which would likely make it impossible for the Lakers to shed enough salary to add Howard.

With such uncertainty, the Magic and Lakers are staying put. They have to wait until the new CBA is settled. No matter what Howard says and actually wants.

–Oly Sandor.


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