Contrary to an earlier report that Orlando Magic forward Dwight Howard would waive his early opt-out clause in his contract and commit to the team for next season, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that Howard only told his teammates that because the team warned him he would be traded if did not take that step.
According to Stein, Howard “didn’t fully understand the ramifications of” of surrendering his right to become a free agent and clarified his position to the Magic front office: he's not waiving his opt-out clause yet.
"It's unheard of for a player of Dwight's caliber to do so," one source told Stein.
Howard’s first choice, according to Stein, is to stay in Orlando, but he is not prepared to give up his right to be a free agent after this season. Despite Howard’s reported verbal pledge to teammates about his decision to pick up his option, both Howard and his agent, Dan Fegan, would have to formally sign a waiver for the early opt-out clause in his contract to be waived. The team is still taking calls from other teams interested in Howard leading up to Thursday’s trading deadline, according to Stein.