NBA Rumors: Dwight Howard Headed Back To Orlando?

NBA Rumors: Dwight Howard Headed Back To Orlando?
Dwight Howard Keith Allison / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets center, is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract and return to Orlando Magic – the team that drafted him with the No.1 overall pick back in 2004.


Last week, ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith reported that Howard’s camp was strongly considering the possibility of returning to Orlando next season. “I don’t believe Dwight Howard wants to be there (in Houston). He has been all over the place (Orlando, L.A., Houston) and has yet again found himself in a position where he’s unhappy. Obviously, he decided to let go of his agent (Dan Fegan).

“I spoke to couple of people (in Howard’s camp) who believe that Howard should go back to Orlando because he should have never left (at the first place). Orlando would welcome him back with open arms. They (Orlando) have a lot of good young talent in Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo & Co. I think Howard will fit in nicely with that young squad,” Smith said during the April 1 broadcast of First Take.

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Shaquille O’Neal, who also started his career with Orlando Magic, has urged Howard to return to his first team and resurrect his career. “I think it would be good for the city. First of all, after the first time he left, letting a big young guy get away, it shouldn’t happen a second time. All the puzzle (pieces) have to fit,” O’Neal said Monday about Howard’s potential return to the Eastern Conference team.

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Howard spent eight seasons in Orlando before forcing his way out of town via trade to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012. According to Shaq, both parties can put aside their differences.

“If you have respect for one another, I think you have to delete the word differences ‘cause business is always going to be business. The DeVos family (which owns the Magic) I have respect for. It can definitely work, as a general manager and owner we’re not just going to be bringing people back, we’re trying to get to that next level. If that guy can’t get us to the next level, then it don’t make sense.”

Dwight Howard, 30, had his best years in Orlando. Besides guiding the Magic to the 2010 NBA Finals, Howard won three Defensive Player of the Year awards with the team and was the most dominant big man in the sport during his years in Florida. Will a potential return help him regain some of his lost form?

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