The Miami Heat have ceased to be the hot basketball topic in Florida now that a report has surfaced indicating Dwight Howard once again wants to leave the Orlando Magic.
Now it’s time to revisit the topic.
ESPN.com is reporting that Howard told new Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan Friday that he wanted to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Magic center reportedly sat down face to face with Hennigan for the first time in a Los Angeles meeting. Hennigan did not say if he would trade the superstar but listened to Howard’s wishes.
Hennigan, hired two weeks ago, has gotten off to a stampeding start in Orlando, firing a number of Magic executives and scouts.
The report also stated that Howard felt like he was “blackmailed” by the Magic.
Howard picked up the option for the final year of his contract with Orlando on March 15. But since then he has grown increasingly disgruntled with the organization, even telling people close to him that he feels the Magic “blackmailed” him into signing the “opt-in” clause. Howard feels the Magic made promises that have not been kept to get him to sign.
Howard shared his feelings of being blackmailed by the Magic with the NBA Players Association last week, sources said. He — either himself or through his representatives — approached the union wondering if he might have a legal complaint against the club.
When Howard requested a trade back in December, the Nets were one of the teams discussed. Howard, coming off surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, would team up with All-Star point guard teammate Deron Williams, a free agent who’s narrowed his options to the Nets and Dallas Mavericks once the free agency period opened.
In March, Howard signed an amendment to his contract that waived his right to opt out at the end of this season.