ORLANDO, Fla. - Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore has learned through two sources that Dwight Howard's California-based agent, Dan Fegan, was at Amway Center Tuesday trying to get his client out of Orlando immediately.
The two sources do confirm that Howard wants out of Orlando -- and staying is not an option. Sources do confirm his agent continues to make that point each time he talks with Magic General Manager Otis Smith.
Pingalore also learned that Howard's flip-flopping of possibly staying with the Magic is a ploy to steer the criticism off of the All-Star center. The sources say Howard is growing tired of not yet being traded.
Pingalore's sources used the term that Fegan is "strong-arming" the Magic to make a trade, with Howard's first choice being the New Jersey Nets.
On Wednesday, a trade rumor on ESPN.com was nothing but a decoy stirred up by Howard's agent, according to Pingalore's sources. They confirm the so-called multi-team trade that would send Howard to New Jersey, and also involving Portland's Gerald Wallace coming to Orlando, was made up by Fegan.
The sources believe that Fegan is trying to create a buzz for his client, Howard, in order to pressure a trade.
A report tonight on Yahoo! and ESPN.com said the Magic told teams they will not field anymore calls about trading Howard.
However, Otis Smith said after practice,"We're going to continue to talk to every team out there and that doesn't mean anything is going to happen." Pingalore's sources say the Magic are not happy with Howard's agent and that the Magic put out the leak about no more calls from teams. The sources described the Magic as digging "their heels in."
The sources also confirm that Smith has at least 15 trade requests he is dealing with from NBA teams.
Howard did not speak to the media Tuesday, sources say, because of the direction he was under from Fegan not to do so.
On Wednesday Howard spoke to the media, but did not want to talk about the drama surrounding the team.
The Lakers continue to be an option for Howard, however Pingalore's sources confirm that the Lakers' center, Andrew Bynum, may not be as attractive, because the Magic have learned Bynum's knees are not healthy.
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