With the media descending on Orlando for the All-Star Game, Dwight Howard is in for a busy weekend. Of the hundreds of questions he'll field over the next few days, Howard shouldn't expect many to address the Eastern Conference's strategy for Sunday's game. This weekend's inquiries will focus on D12's trade request, his contract status, and the Magic's post-All-Star plans. As the festivities get underway in Orlando, we'll keep tabs on today's Howard updates here, with the latest up top:
- Around the league, there are those who view it as "suicidal" if the Magic don't trade Howard by March 15th, says Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. "I think he's gone," one source told Berger. "And you can't afford to let him go and get nothing."
- Nets GM Billy King is preparing three- or four-team trade scenarios for Howard to pitch whenever the Magic are ready to talk, says Chris Mannix of SI.com.
- Asked if there's a future for him in Orlando, Howard said "it's a big possibility," according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Howard also cryptically commented, "Kobe [Bryant] asked to be traded, and looked what happened."
- Magic GM Otis Smith, meanwhile, views the odds as about 50/50, since "until you have a signed contract in your hand, it could go either way."
- "I do think there's a piece of Dwight that wants to be here," said Magic CEO Alex Martins. "And deep down inside knows that this organization is committed to winning."
- Howard suggested last night that the idea of being recruited by teams as an unrestricted free agent appeals to him, tweets John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com.