Today is the day Superman can reveal his true intentions.
At least that’s the way it should go sometime after 10 a.m. EST when Dwight Howard and Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith are finally permitted to speak to each other for the first time since June 30.
We are now nine days removed from the tentative settlement to end the NBA lockout, and we’ve already been treated to two different versions of the Chris Paul story — he has made it known to the New Orleans Hornets that he wants to be traded to the New York Knicks, or he hasn’t. You choose who you want to believe.
We already know that Deron Williams is not going to sign an extension with the New Jersey Nets and will become an unrestricted free agent in July, but what we don’t know if he’ll ultimately end up closer to the Bay Area than Brooklyn.
As for Howard, many have long suspected that he aspires to play under brighter lights. And we all realize that the Los Angeles Lakers are the one team out there that has the most fitting goods to replace him by sending Andrew Bynum, Flotsam and Jetsam to Orlando.
What we do not have is a reading from Howard himself — although Howard’s admirers, such as Magic fan Evan Singer, are doing their best to elicit something of substance out of Howard on Twitter.
But the most substantive thing Howard has said when given 140 characters to answer is “Would y’all talk to me about something else(?)”
From Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “One thing is certain: All of the Magic’s next steps — how the team approaches free agency and the strategy it employs with the amnesty clause — revolve around what Howard says.
The perennial All-NBA center has said he hasn’t decided what he’ll do, but those public statements were made months ago. And Magic officials need to know what he’s thinking. In an interview with the Sentinel on Wednesday, Smith said the Magic want to retain Howard for years to come. But Smith also didn’t rule out trading Howard if it’s necessary to do so. And Smith hasn’t changed his stance.”
Robbins wrote those sentences two days before Howard’s former teammate, Matt Barnes, told reporters in Los Angeles that he has spoken with both Howard and Baron Davis (who is a candidate to be waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers through the amnesty provision), and both are angling for a change of address.
Here is a video of that Barnes interview posted by the Kamenetsky brothers of ESPNLosAngeles.com: