Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is preparing to ask for a trade to the New Jersey Nets, sources have told Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
Howard, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has not yet informed the Magic that he does not plan to re-sign with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2004, however Broussard reports that he will inform the club of his intentions within the next few days. There is also a possibility that the All-Star center will not attend the start of training camp this afternoon.
Until now, Howard had been non-committal about his intentions to stay with the Magic on a long-term basis. Some had believed that if a trade were to occur with Howard, it would likely come during the season near the trade deadline; however a trade demand would move that timeline up dramatically.
Last season Howard averaged 22.9 points, 14.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game for the Magic, who finished the season with a 52-30 record.