(ORLANDO) — All of the speculation over if, when, and where Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard would be traded is officially over. As it turns out, Howard is staying in Orlando after he waived the early termination option in his contract. Howard will stay in Orlando this season as well as next season.
Howard’s trade status was one of the biggest storylines of the NBA season. Howard had made it known that he wanted to be traded from the Magic to any of the teams he had on his “wish list.” Many believed it was only a matter of time before he was dealt to the New Jersey Nets, but Howard changed his mind. In fact, Howard had gone back and forth over whether or not he wanted to stay or be traded. In the end, Howard decided to stay with the organization that drafted him number one overall back in the 2004 draft.
“I’m glad this is finally over,” Howard said at a press conference earlier today. “…It’s not as easy as some people think. It’s been very hard. We’re talking about a career-changing event. Most people don’t see that.”
“I’m very loyal and I’ve always put loyalty above anything.”
Howard is widely considered the best center in the NBA. He is three-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year Award winner. This season Howard is averaging 21.2 points and is leading in the NBA with rebounds at 15.2 per game.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN