Surprise! A few hours removed from reports of his latest decision, Dwight Howard has changed his mind again. In an exclusive interview with Jarrod Randolph of RealGM, Howard said he intends to waive his early termination option for 2012/13 and remain with the Magic for another season. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) confirms that Howard plans to sign the ETO waiver Thursday morning, and may also fire agent Dan Fegan.
In the last 24 hours, the Howard saga has devolved into a circus, with Dwight's flip-flopping resembling something out of a story from The Onion. First, we heard that Howard had told teammates and Magic officials that he'd opt in for the final year of his contract. Later in the day, Howard reportedly informed the team in a conference call that he hadn't finalized that decision and wouldn't commit for next season, which reignited trade talks.
You have to wonder if Howard's initial decision came before he consulted Fegan, who then advised his client not to put anything in writing yet. Howard would save some face if he fired Fegan and waived his ETO, but as Kennedy points out (on Twitter), nothing is official until Dwight puts pen to paper. For his part, Howard told Randolph that he's sorry for the circus he's put the Magic through and vows to be better going forward.
Based on everything that happened Wednesday, this saga still seems far from resolution. If Howard doesn't make his latest decision official Thursday morning, the Magic will likely continue to explore deals that send him out of town. A source tells ESPN.com's Marc Stein that the Nets would be the frontrunner in that scenario, having been engaged with the Magic in trade talks late Wednesday night.