Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski that there’s only one team with which he would sign an immediate extension if traded this offseason.
“There’s only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out and explore my free agency after that,” Howard told Wojnarowski, in his first public comments since a new flurry of trade rumors have popped up involving his name this week.
Wojnarowski reported, based on multiple sources, that the one team is the Brooklyn Nets. According to previous reports, Howard met with Magic general manager Rob Hennigan and requested a trade to the Nets. Of that request, he told Yahoo! that it was not a new demand.
“This was not the first time [that I asked for trade],” Howard told Yahoo! “I communicated this to [Magic president] Alex [Martins] and [former general manager] Otis [Smith] way before Friday that I wanted to be traded – months before this meeting with Rob Hennigan. That was all way before Stan [Van Gundy] got fired.”
In addition to the Nets, Howard’s name has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers this weekend in renewed trade talks between the clubs.
Howard still has a year remaining on his deal after waiving an early termination option in March. The 26-year-old center led the league in rebounding this season at 14.6 per game, adding an average of 20 points per game to his stat line.
In Wojnarowski’s report, Howard denied saying he felt “blackmailed” into picking up the option on the last year of his contract, as ESPN reported.