The Orlando Magic are likely looking ahead at next Thursday when the NBA trade deadline forces them to make a decision on All-Star center Dwight Howard. They have a rather important game this Thursday, however, as they're in Illinois to take on the Chicago Bulls.
The NBA trade rumors indicate that it's basically Howard's decision on whether he stays in Orlando or forces the Magic's hand and gets traded elsewhere. If the Magic aren't able to turn things around quickly following Tuesday night's atrocious loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Howard is wearing a different jersey next Thursday afternoon.
The Magic have a chance to start their last-minute quest to change Howard's mind with Monday night's game against the Bulls. The game is scheduled to be televised nationally at 8 p.m. on TNT as Howard meets a fellow superstar -- and potential playing mate, according to the talks last time the two teams played -- in Derrick Rose.
It won't be easy for the Magic to upend the Bulls considering they've lost just two games at the United Center this season -- and won nine of their last 10 overall -- but the Bulls might be a bit tired following last night's victory as Rose hit one of four game-winners around the league. That could also add extra momentum on the Chicago side, however, making it a likely uphill battle for the Magic.
If they want to convince Dwight Howard to stay, however, maybe the team will pull off the upset.