Here we go again.
Only a few months after Dwight Howard announced his intention to waive his early opt-out clause and remain in Orlando for the final season of his contract, Howard has officially requested a trade — again — to the Brooklyn Nets — again.
The superstar center is unquestionably one of basketball’s best players, but his off-the-court drama wore thin with fans, players, coaches, and the media this past season. Did anyone really believe Howard would be content to play out his contract?
Over the last week, the Houston Rockets made moves to try to acquire a young stockpile of players and draft picks to trade for Howard. While they failed to move up in the draft to a position it was thought the Magic would be happy with, they still have ended up with an arsenal of talent that might be possible to use to make a move for Howard. (Something that — as a Rockets fan — I am completely on board with.)
While Howard has requested a trade to Brooklyn, looking at the Nets’ roster it’s difficult to imagine a package they could put together to land the superstar, unless they also ship out a haul of future first-round picks. It’s also unlikely that Magic management is too keen on placating Howard. He sulked, manipulated the media, forced out his coach, and generally acted like a petulant child throughout the previous season. The Magic don’t owe him anything.
The Magic are reportedly listening to offers from any team that wants to pitch one as they try to get something in return for the superstar who will likely leave next summer no matter what.
Hopefully, the Howard saga will come to a merciful end soon. There are few things more disheartening in sports than watching a superstar use his clout to yank a team around and pout in public about his dissatisfaction with the millions of dollars he’s currently making. Howard is still a prodigious talent, and he’s someone that can drag a team full of scrubs to the playoffs single-handedly, but he’s managed to turn himself into one of the NBA’s more depressing sideshows.