Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard would only be willing to sign a long-term deal with one of four teams, a source has told ESPN.com. Those teams include the Magic, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers.
The three-time NBA Defensive player of the Year’s unwillingness to sign with any other teams severely limits the Magic’s ability to trade the superstar center. While Orlando has been open about trading Howard to any team that would provide the right package, few teams are believed to be willing to trade for Howard without a long-term commitment.
Howard’s relationship with the Magic has been on pins and needles since the NBA lockout officially came to a close last week. There were reports that Howard had demanded a trade to the New Jersey Nets at the onset of training camp, however more recent reports indicate that he may be willing to stay in Orlando if the club can convince him that they can build a championship team. Last season, Howard averaged 22.9 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. It is believed he will become a free agent next offseason through an opt-out clause in his contract.