NBA Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard to Leave Orlando or Gain Hiring and Firing Power

Fans Speculate on Fate of Orlando Magic's 'Superman' as Deadline Looms

As the trade deadline steadily approaches, the Orlando Magic seem to be bending over backwards to keep All-Star center Dwight Howard from abandoning them. The Florida team has until 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon to convince their 6'11" phenom to stick around.

Rumors have been spreading rapidly as ESPN reported that the Orlando Magic will be letting Dwight Howard make Magic front office hiring and firing decisions if he stays with the team, according to an anonymous source. If this is true, Howard would hold the future of Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy as well as Magic general manager Otis Smith in his hands.

Fans took to Twitter to express shock and disapproval of the so-called ridiculousness of giving a player that much power. Many sarcastically tweeted responses, suggesting other exaggerated powers the Magic could give Howard. For example, one fan jovially tweeted: "Nets to offer Dwight Howard the ability to name Russia's next president & Jay-Z's next disc track target."

Others had a less jocular reaction. "I tried to hold it in, but I couldn't hide my disgust with the Magic if the [ESPN] report is true," tweeted one NBA fan.

But, to be fair, Orlando is in a pretty tight spot. If the Magic can't get Dwight Howard to sign an extension of his contract, they are most likely going to lose him when he becomes a free agent in July. So, if Howard isn't going to stick around, the Magic's best bet is to trade him before Thursday's deadline -- that way they'll at least get something in return for parting with their star. If they merely lose him to free agency, they'll get nothing.

A trade is a definite possibility. Dwight Howard has recently rebuffed Chicago's inquires, but he has expressed interest in playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, the New Jersey Nets, the Dallas Mavericks, and even joining LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in Miami.