The Orlando Magic entered their third meeting with the Miami Heat shrouded in uncertainty because of the unknown status of their biggest star. Howard said in the preseason that he wanted to be traded, potentially ending a seven-year relationship for the only franchise the 26-year-old, three-time Defensive Player of the Year has known. He has the option of terminating his current contract and becoming a free agent in July.Howard said he expects to be with the Magic on Friday.
“I expect it,” he said. “…I talked to (Magic chairman) Dan DeVos. I talked to (CEO) Alex (Martins) and (general manager) Otis (Smith), and I want to finish the season out, and I think we’re going to hit our peak at the right time. We’re going to make a good run.” Howard took back his preseason request and said that he wanted to remain with the team for the remainder of the season.