Dwight Howard is determined to get out of Orlando by any means necessary.
Jordan Shultz of The Huffington Post is reporting that the center doesn't plan on playing for the Magic next season, even if he's not traded.
A source close to Dwight Howard tells me that Dwight is fully prepared to sit out the entire 2012-13 season in Orlando, tweeted Shultz on Monday morning. When asked to reveal his source, Shultz responded, lets just say it's a great source.
Howard has been vocal about only wanting to sign an extension in Brooklyn, but now it seems that he wants to play anywhere but Orlando next year. He hasn't changed his stance about wanting to sign with the Nets in 2013, but the center reportedly won't sit out if he's traded elsewhere.
Unlike in the NFL, where contracts aren't guaranteed, it's unheard of for an NBA player to sit out a season.
The Nets looked like they were the favorites to acquire Howard, but seem to be out of the running for the time being. They signed Brook Lopez to a four-year contract and can't trade him until Jan. 15. Lopez would be the centerpiece of any trade between Brooklyn and Orlando.
The Lakers, Rockets and Hawks have also been named as potential landing spots for Howard.
Los Angeles has been named in numerous scenarios with Orlando. The Lakers would trade Andrew Bynum in a deal for Howard, either to the Magic or a third team. They reportedly were working on a trade with the Cavs, who would receive Bynum, with draft picks and young players going to the Magic. Talks broke down over the weekend when Cleveland backed out.
Houston is willing to trade for Howard, even if he won't commit to staying with them long-term. The Rockets can send Orlando Kevin Martin, draft picks and young players, including ones they drafted this year, in exchange for Howard.
The Rockets selected Jeremy lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones in this first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. They waived Luis Scola on Friday, clearing more cap space for a potential deal with Orlando.
The Hawks have also been targeting Howard, hoping to bring the center back to his hometown. Atlanta would send Al Horford and Jeff Teague to Orlando in a potential deal. The Hawks might be reluctant to make such a deal without a commitment from Howard, but they're hopeful that his friend Josh Smith could convince him to stay in Atlanta.
It's hard to see Howard deciding not to play if Orlando can't move him. NBA Commissioner David Stern would almost certainly step in, and possibly suspend him without pay.
Howard has not publicly responded to the report.