First, Berger discussed Howard and the draw of playing in a bigger mar..."/> First, Berger discussed Howard and the draw of playing in a bigger mar..."/>

3-8 Magic Rumors: Howard’s Future, Marketing, Michael Beasley?


Ken Berger of CBS Sports had two separate reports today.

First, Berger discussed Howard and the draw of playing in a bigger market:

"Though Schwartz declined to quantify Williams’ financial windfall from the new deals he’s received since getting traded to the Nets, there are really two reasons behind the additional exposure: market size and his decision to break ties with his longtime agent, Bob McLaren, and sign with Schwartz, whose New York-based Excel Sports Management has a well-oiled marketing and promotional wing. The operation has offices in Los Angeles, but Schwartz — whose NBA client list is second only to Arn Tellem’s with $171 million in player salaries under his umbrella — moved the headquarters to New York because that’s where the corporate dollars and connections reside.“Dwight Howard playing with Deron Williams and having a winning team, plus being in a market like Brooklyn, there will be lots of opportunities,” said a sports marketing executive who requested not to be identified because he works for an agency that competes with Lagardere Unlimited, which represents Howard through agent Dan Fegan. “And I think that should play into his decision. The New York market compared to other markets, the opportunities are not going to be the same off the court. You’re talking about the No. 1 media market in the country and [$2.5] million people in Brooklyn alone, and New York is still the hub of the corporate world. You’ve got every kind of industry, ten-fold.”"

Berger also reports the Magic are now being linked to Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley:

"It’s no secret that Minnesota is likely to trade Michael Beasley, with the most interested potential suitors being the Boston, the Lakers and Orlando. The Magic are pursuing multiple avenues in an attempt to improve the team in the hopes that a long playoff run could persuade Howard to stay. If Orlando holds off on trading Howard at the deadline, sources say Beasley could be a viable piece for the Nets to add as they try to upgrade their talent to make the team more attractive to Howard and Deron Williams."

Per Melissa Isaacson of ESPN Chicago, wherever Howard winds up, he wants to be “the guy”

"“And I don’t think there’s any problem wanting to be that guy. I’ve been that guy for this team since I’ve been here. And my whole life I’ve been put in the position of leadership, and I take on that role and I love doing it. Just by what people think, it’s very tough being a leader.”That doesn’t mean Howard is averse to playing with another All-Star. Howard, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent after this season, has let it be known he wants to be traded. And at the top of his list reportedly is the New Jersey Nets, who are led by perennial All-Star Deron Williams. The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks also were on the list."

As reported by Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports, Tracy McGrady doesn’t think Howard should go anywhere:

"“I think it’s up to him to recruit guys who can come to Orlando,” said McGrady, speaking to FOX Sports Florida when the Hawks were in Miami for Wednesday’s 89-86 loss to the Heat. “It’s a great city. It’s great weather. You already have been there eight years. You’re established there. With him, he’s one of those guys that should try to stay with one team and try to make it better there. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. So you already have something good there. Why try to go somewhere that you just never know?”"

Sam Amick of SI discusses Howard’s future:

"Yet while there would be even more reason for optimism if the Magic could find some help for Howard, two sources close to the situation said their reported attempt to land Golden State guard Monta Ellis simply never happened. Warriors owner Joe Lacob is obsessed with the far-fetched thought of landing Howard himself, and chances are he wouldn’t green-light any move — even if it was a three- or four-team situation — that helped Orlando keep Howard. More on the Warriors’ front later."

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider ( and is the co-host of the Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HtD app here)