Dwight Howard feels Orlando Magic blackmailed him, wants to be traded to the Nets

All throughout last NBA season, I stressed that the Magic should trade Dwight Howard. Even after he opted in for the final season left on his deal, I felt the Magic were extending the delicate situation with a superstar- I use that term loosely – who CLEARLY no matter what he said in interviews, no longer had a desire to play for the franchise. Going through another season of “will-he-or-won’t-he” can’t be great for the other players on the Magic and the team in general.

Welcome to the first day of free agency and of course, what little morsel comes bubbling to the surface? Dwight Howard would like to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets… YUP same place he’s wanted to be for the past year. Howard met with the Magic’s new GM, Rob Hennigan in LA on Friday. He also feels as if the Magic blackmailed him into signing the extension.

Howard picked up the option for the final year of his contract with Orlando on March 15. But since then he has grown increasingly disgruntled with the organization, even telling people close to him that he feels the Magic “blackmailed” him into signing the “opt-in” clause. Howard feels the Magic made promises that have not been kept to get him to sign.

Howard shared his feelings of being blackmailed by the Magic with the NBA Players Association last week, sources said. He — either himself or through his representatives — approached the union wondering if he might have a legal complaint against the club.

The goal of such a complaint would be to eliminate his “opt-in,” thereby allowing Howard to become a free agent this summer.

Sources said the union is considering whether or not to pursue legal action against the Magic.

Here’s the thing, I absolutely believe the Magic applied a little pressure back in March. Their were whispers that the Magic threatened to trade Dwight to a team he didn’t want to go to. Both sides put themselves in this position. Dwight would’ve been a free agent no matter what this summer had he not signed and could’ve gone wherever he wanted… probably for less money. But then the question becomes, what’s more important to you as a professional player.

I can’t wait until he gets with a team and gets back to basketball. I’m over it.

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About Jill Munroe

Sports Culture Analyst Stiletto Jill is from LA, with a background in marketing, PR, and business development. Jill’s resume includes stints at Nike, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Virgin Records.
Jill is a frequent guest on ESPN Radio and Yahoo Sports Radio, and is also a media partner for YardBarker, FoxSports.com and MSN.com