If there is an NBA team going through an even worse season than the New York Knicks today, it is the Orlando Magic. Sitting just above the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers in the LeBron James conference, the Brandon Jennings squad struggle to not end up below the Jahlil Okafor squad. With the NBA playoffs clearly out of the picture, it looks like the Orlando Magic are looking into ways to bring in the better players in their roster.
Meanwhile, the rumored divide between Dwight Howard and James Harden in the Houston Rockets might come to an end soon. If the speculations are to be believed, then the Orlando Magic will be welcoming back the former Los Angeles Lakers star by the next NBA season. Despite the messy breakup between Howard and the Andrew Nicholson squad in 2012, it looks like both parties need each other to go back to their glory days.
"Dwight's Plan A is to stay in Houston and make it work. He has made that abundantly clear," shared Ric Bucher of the Bleacher Report. He added, "But he is also looking at Plan Bs and league sources say that one of those is the possible return to Orlando. He has been seeking out whether the Magic would be open to that through back channels."
The former top NBA draft pick left the Orlando Magic in 2012. The separation was prompted by the refusal of Howard to re-sign with the basketball team and rejected their proposal for a contract extension. To remedy the issue, the Orlando Magic struck a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. The trade involved a multi-team agreement which also included Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and Arron Afflalo.
The speculations of the possible return of Howard to the Orlando Magic was further fueled by his recent comments regarding the Houston Rockets, its players and their strategy. Citing the playing style and system in the Orlando Magic, the center shared that his former team implemented a "very successful way of playing."
"Since I've been in the NBA, especially when we (were) in Orlando and (then-coach) Stan (Van Gundy) got there, he made a big emphasis on playing inside-out, and really just playing a bully-type style of basketball," noted Howard. He added, "And we did pick and rolls too, so it was kind of like a mixture. That's what threw teams off. It wasn't (just) me getting post-ups so I can always score, but it was doing that to free up our shooters, to give them more space (and) to really shoot the ball. I feel like that's a very successful way of playing."
Howard has been the center of NBA trade rumors since the season started. In addition to his issues in the hardwood court, the center reportedly could not mesh well with Harden. The two stars, who were initially expected to carry the team, were repeatedly speculated to cause a divide in the Houston Rockets roster. Moreover, some fans believe that Harden refuses to acknowledge Howard as a co-leader of the team. However, Howard constantly denied the accusations.
"People feel like we hate each other," Howard shared of his relationship with Harden. He added, "I have no hate in my blood for this man, you know? For what? He came from nothing. We both came from nothing. And we're doing something that we love. We grew up playing this game for fun, and we had big dreams of making it to the NBA."
Howard further noted, "So I would never hate this man because I know what it took for me to get here, and he made it. So I want him to succeed. I want us to succeed."