But more importantly from a Magic point of view, it gives them a final year to deliver the change they have promised Howard since the start of training camp. Or it gives them the option to trade him before the start of next year and get real value for him, while Howard maximizes his money.
Opting in insures Howard gets his final $19.5 million contract year. If he opts out of his deal as almost everyone expects, he’ll get a starting salary of $18.99 million.
It’s not a huge number, but its more and sources close to Howard’s camp say playing out his current deal remains an option.
There are only about five teams that will even be able to sign Howard, so there are now rumblings that we could do this whole song and dance again next season if Howard decides not to exercise his Early Termination Option.
There are renewed rumblings about the Warriors possibly getting Brook Lopez from the Nets in a multi-team deal involving Howard. That would cost them big time, though; Monta Ellis would be part of the Magic’s compensation.
The Magic have been tied to Ellis before, but that’s mostly because of Howard’s apparent desire to play with Ellis. Rebuilding around Ellis doesn’t seem like a good move – just look how it’s worked out for the Warriors.
Warriors continuing push for Dwight Howard deal even without DH commitment to re-signing. Not backing off from risky move, source says.
Monta Ellis. Howard likes the Golden State scoring machine, even though he plays little defense. Actually, there are rumors that the Warriors might offer Ellis to Howard, taking the chance to rent him in the hopes they can persuade him to stay. There’s no chance of that.
So, could Smith, the ex-Warrior who has done a lot of business with his old front office, acquire Ellis ($11 million) with a package of J.J. Redick ($6.5 million), Ryan Anderson ($2.2) and Earl Clark ($1.2)?
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)