With less than five weeks until the trade deadline, the Magic still hope to avoid dealing their star center, preferring to build around him long-term. We heard as much yesterday from team owner Rich DeVos, who put the odds of Dwight Howard remaining with the Magic at about "50/50." Here are today's updates on Howard:
- The Lakers are still on Howard's list, but he has some serious reservations about following Shaquille O'Neal's path to L.A., says Ken Berger of CBS Sports. "Dwight is very sensitive to people thinking that he is duplicating Shaq," a source tells Berger.
- In ESPN.com's Weekend Dime, Marc Stein explains why most Howard suitors, with the exception of the Lakers, wouldn't mind if the Magic didn't trade D12 this season.
- While they were surprised not to be on Howard's list of preferred destinations, the Bulls remain intrigued by the possibility of acquiring him, says Stein. Chicago prefers to play out this season with their current roster, but could be interested in making a play for Howard in the offseason, should he become more interested in Chicago. Since the Bulls won't have cap space to sign him as a free agent, they'd have to make a trade offer before July 1st.
- In a piece for HoopsWorld, Steve Kyler and Larry Coon set the record straight on some common misconceptions about Howard's future contract options.