Report: Dwight Howard Avoided Lakers Trade By Staying With Magic

Dwight Howard is at the center of NBA news again, and just a few weeks after he dominated the Trade Deadline rumor mill, there are still new rumors emerging about just how he wound up staying in Orlando. The latest involves the Lakers.

As Fred Kerber reports for the New York Post, Howard was given a choice at the trade deadline. Sign a waiver guaranteeing he wouldn't opt-out of his contract this summer, or head straight for L.A. to join Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. As Kerber reports:

According to league sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Orlando brass got fed up with Howard’s yes-no-maybe posturing and threatened to trade him to the Lakers, not his desired location, if he did not sign an agreement to waive the opt-out clause for the final season of his contract. Howard eventually signed the papers, but only after he was told “he would be a Laker by the end of the day,” according to one source.

It's a very different narrative than the one sold by Orlando executives after Howard decided to stay, but it makes sense given the way both sides were relating to each other in the days leading up to the trade deadline. Neither side trusted each other, and now we're three weeks later, Dwight found out management told Van Gundy about his private demands, and... The trust in Orlando is at an all-time low. Maybe that Lakers trade wouldn't have been such a bad idea, after all.
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