An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."
Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him.
Each executive left the door open for posturing, noting that the Magic may be bluffing in hopes of coaxing better offers out of opposing teams. But the overriding sense is that Howard may not be moved for weeks, if not months.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets both covet Howard, but each team has come away from trade discussions thinking the Magic -- at least for now -- are not interested in trading the six-time All-Star, according to sources.
Howard has been steadfast in his desire to be traded since the end of last season, telling new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan last month in their first face-to-face meeting that he wanted to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
But with Howard under contract for next season, the only firm deadline Orlando faces is next season's trade deadline.