The dream of a Big Three in Los Angeles has ended a day after reports surfaced that reigning Defensive Player of the Year and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard added the Los Angeles Clippers to his wish list of places he would like to play for.
Howard dismissed the rumors after the Magic's 96-89 win over the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night when talking to reporters.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Magic General Manager Otis Smith said Howard's camp hasn't even informed him that the Howard is also considering the Clippers as a landing spot beyond the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Jersey Nets.
Furthermore, Smith said that the Magic also have not granted permission to Howard's agent Dan Fegan to speak with any teams in addition to the Mavericks, Lakers and Nets.
The way the Magic are playing right now, Howard might want to consider staying in Orlando at least until the end of the season. The team's win over Charlotte marked its fifth straight and tenth out of 12 games.
Howard had a stellar night with 25 points and 17 rebounds, but a handful of his teammates stepped up in the second half to rally the Magic to victory after a three-point halftime deficit. Of that handful, Hedo Turkoglu and Von Wafer were most notable, each scoring eight points in a pivotal fourth quarter.
That team effort, especially late in games, is something Howard had noted a lack of since the Magic lost in the 2009 NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, although Howard hasn't actually rescinded his trade request made in December, it seems as though Tuesday night's win did some more persuading for Howard to stay put in Orlando.
While the Clippers, with the dynamic duo of newly-acquired Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, are contenders, and may become even bigger contenders with Howard, the Magic are contenders as well. If the Magic were to pull the trigger this season by trading Howard, then it would mean giving up on what has been a successful start and what could be an even more successful season.
That also seemed to be Howard's thought when he answered questions about his future.
Right now, I'm with the Magic, said Howard. That's the only thing that matters.