Dwight Howard Want Out Because GM Otis Smith Made None Of The Moves He Asked Him To Make

Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard speaks with reporters at NBA basketball training camp in Orlando, Fla. , Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011.

Maybe Dwight Howard is being completely and unequivocally honest in his latest comments regarding his relationship with Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith over the last few years. To that point, maybe he’s also being reasonably objective and understanding too. Meaning simply, maybe he never dropped demands on Smith’s desk that included trades for Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant, only to get upset when JJ Redick and Chris Duhon weren’t enough for Otis to swing those deals.  

Or maybe Dwight Howard is in the midst of a PR blitz to paint Otis Smith as the sole reason for him leaving the Orlando Magic community and fanbase who supported him over these last seven season years also.  

All that is up for you to decide, but these are the reasons he offered for his trade demands according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst late Sunday night:

“I’m pretty sure if you go down the line of teams, every GM has a pretty good relationship with not just the best player but all the players,” Howard said. “If you don’t have a good relationship with the people you work with, how are you going to get better?”

Smith has made several large trades over the last two years in an effort to strengthen the team around Howard before he hit free agency in 2012, trading for Vince Carter before the 2009-10 season and then trading for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu during last season.

Howard said he pushed for other moves that were not made.

“The stuff that I have asked for, the stuff I felt our team needed to get better, none of it has happened,” Howard said. “That’s not me being cocky but I want to be involved with the organization. I’ve been here for a long time, I don’t want to sit around.”

Howard went on to add that he wasn’t actually asking for those guys like Rose or Durant either.  He just wanted regular hard working fellas who could help out his team, I guess.  Players Otis Smith was apparently vehemently opposed to signing, according to Dwight when asked who he was referring to specifically:

These weren’t special guys, just guys I felt would be great for our team,” Howard said. “It wasn’t guys that would take us over the cap or anything like that. It was just guys that I felt would help us on the inside and the outside.”

Otis Smith’s response, in part, was as follows:

Otis Smith acknowledged that Howard had come to him with suggestions over the years but he didn’t make moves for various reasons.

“We looked at some; some we have, some we don’t,” Smith said. “So I’m not necessarily saying that he isn’t accurate. I think that there was a list. Some of them are duplicate talent, which is something you can’t do all the time. Some, quite frankly, are on your roster.”

One guy who was on the roster until a few days ago was Gilbert Arenas, and this is where I can’t help but be cynical.  The report went on to say that Howard was “not in favor of” the Magic’s decision to use the Amnesty Clause on Arenas and the $62 million in cap space he currently occupied going forward.  If this is a move that Dwight wouldn’t make, than he should never apply to be a General Manager of any team ever once his playing days are over.  

Arenas played in 49 games last season alongside Howard, and averaged 8 points and 2.2 turnovers per game in 22 minutes of action per night.  To reiterate, he occupied $62 million of the Orlando Magic’s salary cap while producing those numbers.  It was also reported that Gilbert “complained about the coach” while he was there, and “embarrassed the franchise” as well in just over half of one season.

I objectively couldn’t care less whether Dwight Howard stays in Orlando or not.  I am also not too concerned with Otis Smith’s public image as a General Manager either to be honest.  If Dwight would’ve said that he had asked Smith NOT to acquire Arenas in the first place, then my take would be different.  It would also be much different if Howard simply added, ‘I just want to be traded so I can go somewhere else with a bigger market and more fun things to do, okay you guys?’  Because I can’t help but think that’s probably closer to the truth, despite my lack of mind-reading abilities.

To position Smith in the eyes of Magic fans as a guy who ‘wouldn’t work with me’ and ‘that’s why I’m leaving’ and it has ‘nothing to do with not wanting to stay here and play for you fans because you know I want too and I really love you guys a lot’ when that’s not exactly the truth though? That’s pretty lame.

If that is in fact what Howard is actually doing here.  But I guess that’s something only Dwight Howard himself will ever really know.

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.