Evans Clinchy
Thursday March 15th, 2012

If we've learned anything from this endless Dwight Howard trade saga, it's that nothing's ever final until the 26-year-old Orlando Magic puts it in writing officially. Well, now it appears he has -- ESPN's Chris Broussard says D12 has signed the waiver to his early termination option. He's staying with the Magic next season.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Chris_Broussard/status/180329231652356098 align='center']

By deciding not to opt out of his existing contract, Howard agrees to make $19.5 million donning the black and blue next season. For the moment, the question of what happens between now and the 3 p.m. trade deadline is put to bed -- but over the course of the next year, you can expect boatloads of speculation about what happens before trade deadline 2013. It never ends. For now, the focus turns to what this Magic team can do down the stretch this season. With Dwight playing arguably the best basketball of his career, Orlando has won 12 of its last 17, looking poised to capture the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs at 28-16. Howard is averaging a ridiculous 21.2 points, 15.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, production that should only improve now that he's distraction-free.

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