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Fan: Why Dwight Howard will determine the future of the NBA
With Dwight Howard(notes) questioning his teammates' efforts and showing frustration with his team consistently, it seems that unless the Orlando Magic can a seismic move, Dwight Howard will be traded next year. Whether he leaves or not, it's safe to say Dwight Howard will help determine the league's power structure for the next five years by leading a title contender.
Howard has a contract that secures him almost 18 million next year and gives him a player option worth 19.2 million in 2012-13. Unfortunately for the Magic, Howard doesn't appear to be satisfied with all of the moves the Magic have been making. The Sun-Sentinal reported yesterday that Howard is incensed about his teams' lackluster efforts: "I've said everything there is to say… I've talked every timeout, when we're in the huddle, in the locker room… What, you want me to Tweet about it? I've done everything I'm supposed to do as a leader," said Howard. Dwight continued with the even more incisive: "If guys don't want to play, they've got to sit down," Howard said. "We just can't have guys or anybody out there not playing hard… We have a lot of talent, but talent will not get you a championship. We're one of the most talented teams in the NBA. We're a deep team. We've got guys who can do a lot of different things. But if we don't bring it every night, it's a waste of talent."
Unless the Magic can play up to Howard's expectations or unless they can trade for someone like Chris Paul(notes) that can keep Howard happy, they would be better off trading him to get value. He will reject his player option for 2013 if he's unhappy, sign to a long term deal with another team, and the Magic will be left empty-handed. So either the Magic get good enough to contend or Howard ends up on heavyweight like Los Angeles or Boston.
It's no secret that Doc Rivers played the Celtics' Big Four with Dwight Howard in the All Star game to give him a taste of what it's like to play with legendary and motivated players. Rivers even joked about Howard being a free agent soon after the game. And, there have been rumors lately about Howard being interested in playing in Los Angeles.
The bottom-line is get used to seeing Dwight Howard deep into the playoffs for years to come.
It just might not be for Orlando.
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