For Dwight Howard, the Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side

When the clock strikes midnight on July 1, Dwight Howard will reach unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career.

For the first time ever, he'll have the chance to make himself truly happy by choosing his next team.

What will it take to satisfy him exactly? At this point, it's unclear if anyone, including Howard himself, knows.

Since the beginning of the so-called "Dwightmare" back in 2011, there's only been one constant with Howard: He's such a big flip-flopper that he could consider running for political office once done with the NBA.

Right before the start of the lockout-shortened season in 2011-12, Howard's representatives told the Orlando Magic that he wouldn't be re-signing in Orlando, according to's Chris Broussard. Howard's preferred destination was the then-New Jersey Nets, Broussard reported, which sparked months of trade speculation.

Howard's leverage in the situation came from his contract's early-termination option, which would have allowed him to reach unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2012. The Magic didn't want to risk losing him for nothing as an unrestricted free agent, but also couldn't generate a fair-value trade offer with Howard's camp constantly leaking reports about his desire to leave Orlando.

Further constricting the Magic's options was Howard's short list of teams that he would have agreed to a long-term contract with in a trade—the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Nets and Magic.

Teams that weren't on that list had less incentive to offer a knock-your-socks-off package to Orlando, knowing they could be facing a precarious situation with Howard in a few short months.

In essence, the big man only made it more unlikely that he'd get what he wanted.

Still, speculation reached a fever pitch as the 2012 trade deadline approached. One source went so far as to tell ESPN.c...

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