The Orlando Magic might bring the on-again, off-again Dwight Howard trade rumors to a halt — for now.
Citing multiple league sources ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reported Monday night that the Magic are holding out for a trade that would be "great" for the franchise. The organization has shifted to this position in the past "week or so." From Broussard's report:
Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him.
Each executive left the door open for posturing, noting that the Magic may be bluffing in hopes of coaxing better offers out of opposing teams. But the overriding sense is that Howard may not be moved for weeks, if not months.
Because the Magic could just be taking a hard-line public stance, the rumors probably won't go away just yet. Just last Thursday, a three-team deal between the Lakers, Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers picked up steam as reports emerged that Howard would be willing to sign an extension with Los Angeles.
But Broussard reported Monday that both the Lakers and the Houston Rockets, the other team most in the mix for Howard right now, believe that, at the moment, "are not interested in trading" him. If the Magic wait until the season to deal Howard, the Brooklyn Nets could also again become a potential trade partner. The Nets recently re-signed center Brook Lopez, who would be the main piece in a deal for Howard. But he cannot be traded until January 15, about a month before the trade deadline.