Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins indicated Sunday that team decision-makers have not determined whether they will trade Dwight Howard before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday afternoon.
The Magic face one of the most important personnel decisions in franchise history. Do they trade the sport's best center before the deadline to ensure they receive assets in return? Or do they retain Howard beyond the deadline and risk that he could sign a free-agent contract with another team in July and leave the Magic with no assets in return?
Howard has not divulged publicly what he wants to do, and it's unclear what he has told the Magic. But one strong possibility is that he wants to exercise the early termination option in his contract after the season and keep the possibility of re-signing with the Magic on the table as he tests free agency in July.
So what happens if Howard tells the Magic that is what he wants to do? Are the Magic prepared to accept the risk of not trading Howard before the deadline?
"We're not at the point where we're ready to answer that question yet," Martins told the Orlando Sentinel before the Magic hosted the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. "Sometime in the next four days we will be, but we're not at the point where we're ready to answer that question yet."
In the meantime, Martins continues to speak with Howard in an effort to convince Howard to remain with the team.
On Friday, Martins met with Howard and at least two of Howard's key advisers.
Martins would not disclose specific details, but Martins did say that he outlined the team's marketing plan for the next year "as it relates to the team and how our plan is for Dwight an integral part of that."
Sick of rumorsMagic coach Stan Van Gundy is tired of the constant trade rumors and how newspapers, blogs and TV outlets focus — some would say "obsess" — on those rumors.
"Look, people are tired of it," Van Gundy said. "Enough. Even people on other teams [are tired of it]. Derrick Rose is tired of it. It's enough. Look, on Thursday, he'll either be here or he won't. Then write about it. Enough."
Asked if it's nice to know there will be closure on Thursday, Van Gundy responded, "It won't be closure. There's closure, I guess, if he goes. If he stays, it just starts all over again. You just start the clock again. You're right back where you started from the day the playoffs ended last year. That's what everybody will be talking about: 'OK, now what's going to happen in the summer?' "
'Nole noiseThe reverberations from Florida State's 85-82 win over North Carolina in the ACC Tournament title game Sunday afternoon were felt in the Magic locker room, especially for former Seminoles player Von Wafer.
"We've turned the corner," Wafer said. "We're taking over the ACC. Next is the world."
Quentin Richardson went to DePaul, but he is childhood friends with one of FSU's assistant coaches, Dennis Gates. Richardson and Gates spoke on the phone after FSU's victory Sunday.
Layups• J.J. Redick, playing in place of injured shooting guard Jason Richardson, started his 10th game of the season Sunday. That set a new career high for regular-season starts for Redick. His previous high was nine, set in 2009-10.
• An Orlando Magic Dancer received a marriage proposal from her boyfriend on Amway Center's court after the Magic Dancers completed a performance between the first and second quarters. She said yes.
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