He is sticking by his request to be traded from the
"It still stands," Howard said.
Asked whether he fluctuates day to day, he answered, "There is no back-and-forth."
Howard's statements, responses to specific questions from the media after practice, came one day after Magic General Manager
That deal would have sent Howard to the
Magic officials say they hope they can change Howard's mind before the March 15 trade deadline.
But what remains unclear is whether the Magic front office actually believes there is a reasonable chance of a Howard change of heart.
One of those analysts is
Now working for
"I'm going to be keeping my eye out on the Orlando situation," O'Neal told reporters during a TNT conference call Thursday.
"I'm anxious to see if they make the same mistake twice. They just built an arena for $550 million [actually $480 million], and I know there's trade talks about trading him or keeping him. But I think they should keep him. I don't really think management has been doing a good job with that situation."
Of course, keeping Howard is anything but simple for the Magic.
"They have tried to make trades to make that team better," TNT analyst
"They haven't worked out perfectly," Barkley added later. "I give Otis Smith credit. He's made a bunch of trades. They didn't work out now, but they're trying. I mean, everybody wants to go out and get a great player. But they don't grow on trees."
Acquiring Paul is not a option, obviously. And neither is acquiring Nets point guard
Smith has made some bold moves during the past week, and two of those moves boost the Magic's payroll after the team cut its salary-cap and luxury-tax figures by waiving
The Magic's key deadline for trading Howard is the March 15
If they don't trade him by then, they would risk losing him in free agency and receiving no one in return.
"Otis is going to be famous for making the
Right now, though, Howard sounds intent on leaving.