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Howard Clarifies: He WILL Be a Free Agent This Summer

ESPN's Marc Stein reports what was also reported on the Magic's broadcast Wednesday night...

In a Wednesday night conference call with Orlando Magic officials before the team's game in San Antonio, Dwight Howard told the Magic that he is not prepared to surrender the option to become a free agent at season's end, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion.

After numerous reports earlier Wednesday indicating that Howard had agreed to waive his early termination option and lock himself into the final season of his current contract with the Magic, sources said that Howard and agent Dan Fegan clarified their position in the conference call with Magic CEO Alex Martins, owner Rich De Vos and other members of the De Vos' family.

Josh Robbins tweeted later Wednesday that "A Magic spokesman confirms @ESPNSteinLine that Dwight Howard has told the team he will not waive his ETO."

The decision, assuming it doesn't change again Friday, means the Magic will have to decide by 3 p.m. whether to trade Howard or risk getting nothing for him, as they did with Shaquille O'Neal 15 years ago. The Magic, reports Sports Illustrated, have also been talking to the Rockets.