Dwight Howard Playing ‘Games,’ Now No Trade Wanted

The Orlando big man keeps putting his team between a rock and a hard place.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

With the NBA trade deadline looming at just a day away, the rumors-mill is swirling faster than a dead goldfish down a bathroom drain. The biggest name being banded around, obviously, is the Orlando's big man, Dwight Howard.

Howard, regarded as the best center in the game, has been less than helpful to his team when it comes to what they should do with him come deadline time. He has frequently flipped back and forth on the whole trade issue while refusing to make a long term commitment with the Magic. Basically, he's forced the Magic into trading him in order to get something back for him in return.

The only problem, however, is that Howard is now stating that he doesn't want to be traded.

After putting on a display of his worth in an Orlando overtime win versus the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, Howard took his assault from the court to the media and made the stunning announcement that he wanted to finish out the season as a Magic.

“I’ve been telling those guys [in the Magic front office], and I’ve been telling them for the past two or three weeks now, that I want to stay and finish the season,” Howard said. “I told ’em I feel we’ve got a great opportunity to win and I told ’em that I want to be here and I want to bring a championship here. And I told ’em they’ve got to give me that chance.”

Howard's statement seems somewhat out of character from the guy who is all but certain to be out the door come season's end. But a deeper look reveals possible selfish motives.

By saying he doesn't want to be traded, Howard erects a slim barrier of protection from fan backlash if he is dealt before the deadline. He also increases his chances of signing with a more talented team this offseason because any team that trades for him will have to basically gut their team–talent wise–to get him.

So, upon further review, this new stance by Howard can be seen as a contrived attempt to transfer blame and anger to the organization instead of to him, where it arguably deserves to be. Howard has been very childish about this whole process and has put the Magic in a tough spot: cut ties now, or roll the dice and se if he will re-sign in the off-season.

The thing is, and the only conjecture at this point, is that Howard isn't going to commit to the Magic at seasons end. He has seen all the fanfare and attention that free agency brings and wants to delve into that pool. Howard wants to be wined and dined, and the unfortunate reality of people as a whole, is that the grass is always greener on the other side.

No, the Orlando Magic is in a lose-lose scenario, and it's negative aspect is being compounded by it's child-like superstar who refuses to help them in any aspect off the court. In reality, they are being left with the only option that makes sense: trade him now and move on. Because the reality will be that he is going to be gone at seasons end.