The following is the letter that I wish Orlando had the guts to send to Dwight Howard right now.
We are extremely grateful for all that you have done for this franchise since being drafted in 2004. You changed the landscape of our team and led us to several postseason appearances and our first NBA finals appearance in nearly 15 years. We would love it if you stayed, but as you’ve made it clear you have plans to move on and we have accepted this. We know there is no way we can quickly replace a player of your caliber. With that said, I would like to speak on behalf of the entire Magic organization when I say…
Fuck You Dwight
You may be our best player, but you do not run this team. So long as you are under contract with us WE dictate where you play, not you. You cannot say you want to play only in Brooklyn and expect us to facilitate the deal. You had your chance, it’s called free agency, and you passed up that opportunity when you opted in for a final year with us. Whether you did it because you got cold feet or because you wanted more money is irrelevant, you knew that by signing that piece of paper you were submitting to us control over your future for one year. If you wanted out right now, as you clearly do, then you messed up.
Now just because we have your rights doesn’t mean we are opposed to trading you. If a deal comes up that’s worthwhile we will pull the trigger. But you gave us one team, a team with minimal assets, and said that was the only deal you would accept. Well screw you. We aren’t trading you to Brooklyn. We have explored all the possibilities out there and there is no package being offered that provides anywhere near the level of compensation we expect for a player of your caliber. What’s more, you don’t have the leverage you had last year when you put us through a similar situation. Last year there was a legitimate threat that if you played out the season with us you would just sign with Brooklyn and leave us high and dry. But things have changed, and you know as well as we do that you cannot get to Brooklyn through free agency anymore, not if you want a max contract. There is far too much money tied up Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace. Even if they go into 2013 free agency with only those 3 guys under contract they still can’t offer you more than 10 million a year. You can’t get there Dwight, not without our help. And with what you’ve put us through I think you’ll understand that we aren’t exactly inclined to help you.
If Brooklyn is truly the only place you’ll play, then we’ll revisit the deal after the season when a sign and trade becomes the only way for you to get there on a decent salary. But there is no incentive for us to trade you there right now. We would rather play out the season with you in a Magic uniform and then deal with free agency when it comes. If you want out of Orlando right now, you will have to accept a trade to a team other than Brooklyn. We don’t care if it’s the Lakers, or Houston, or Atlanta… it doesn’t matter. Accept a trade to a team that can give us a fair return. Or spend the 2013 season in Orlando and then find that you still can’t get to Brooklyn.
You messed up Dwight. You ruined your relationship with this organization and eliminated any incentive we might have had to help you out. Now it’s your turn to see if you can fix it. Accept a trade somewhere else. We want this debacle to be over as much as you do. But we’re not caving to your demands.