According to an ESPN report, the on-again, off-again trade talks between Magic general manager Rob Hennigan and multiple suitors are off -- for now -- and the franchise could sit tight with the five-time All-NBA center until the trade deadline in February.
Hennigan and the next Magic coach, likely to be announced this week, are planning to meet with Howard in Los Angeles before determining the next phase of their team-building plan.
The Magic were well down the road in discussions with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this month but the deal broke down. Howard said he prefers to play for the Nets, but agent Dan Fegan denied that Howard plans to sign a contract until next summer when he can become an unrestricted free agent.
The Magic have fielded other offers, including recent strong overtures from the Lakers and Rockets, but might prove to get better returns by holding out until the NBA deadline just after the 2013 All-Star break.
The Nets would be in position to return to the table with their offer of multiple draft choices, 2012 draft pick Tyshawn Taylor and center Brook Lopez. Lopez signed a four-year contract on July 9 and isn't eligible to be traded until December. After playing only five games last season because of multiple foot injuries, Lopez would have a chance to prove his durability before February, easing the concerns of the Magic or other teams that could help facilitate a deal.