Orlando won't have the cap room. And it's virtually impossible to pull off a reverse Lakers-Magic deal or multi-team trade for Dwight, anyway.
The Magic are trying to establish yet another new culture. Howard is by no means a bad guy, but the franchise wound up catering to him as he grew into a superstar. They aren't traveling that rocky road again.
Bang for your bucks
The Magic's starting lineup last week against the Heat's lineup offered a startling mismatch between the Princes and the Paupers.
Oh, the overtime game was an ESPN classic. I'm talking about the game being played on paper between the state rivals – as in contracts.
The Magic's makeshift starting five had several guys playing on their rookie contracts. They lost by two.
Nik has knack
Magic C Nik Vucevic might have as many admirers as a trade attraction as SG J.J. Redick.
Opposing coaches are raving about him. His 29-rebound effort against the Heat only added a shiny coat to his value.
Vucevic, 7 feet tall, will be off the market unless somebody blows away the Magic with an offer (we can forget Vucevic being included in a deal for Cousins).
The thing is, Vucevic, in the second year of his rookie contract, is a steal at $1.7 million this season, $1.8 million next season and $2.7 million in 2014-15.
But as teams face a more punitive luxury tax, could the Magic acquire a star for Vucevic down the road? The Celtics sent promising PF Al Jefferson to the Timberwolves for veteran Kevin Garnett, basically handing Boston a title in 2008.
This 'n' That
What was the key to Vucevic breaking Shaq's 19-year-old record with 29 rebounds? He grabbed four boards during one trip down the court. Halfway through the fourth quarter, he rebounded Josh McRoberts' miss, then three of his own on consecutive tip-in attempts before scoring…. He didn't get a return engagement with L.A., but Phil Jackson apparently will be in the Lakers' family after getting engaged to Jeanie Buss, the club exec and daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss. "Insert your own, 'Don't fish off the company pier' jokes here," Buss wrote in her 2011 book, "Laker Girl," about her relationship with Jackson. "But it is no joke."...Speaking of L.A., Howard really is taking a step back in his free-throw battle. Actually, Dwight has started lining up a half-step back of the line when he shoots, and has had some success. If all else fails, he might try throwing it overhand.