Source: Howard Likely to Miss Olympics
(Dwight) Howard has been ridiculous about a lot of things over the past month or so, but I’ll take him at his word that if he’s letting a man mess with his vertebrae, he really needs it.
The bottom line is that Howard is done for the season, the Magic are done in the first round, and Howard is virtually certain to miss the Olympics — the latter from a league source familiar with USA Basketball matters. The developments with Howard mean that Knicks center Tyson Chandler is a virtual lock to replace him, sources said. With Lamar Odom likely out of the Olympic mix, too, Miami’s Chris Bosh — who like Odom has played the five spot internationally — also is a likely addition to the USA roster, sources said. A third spot could open up for Timberwolves rebounding and 3-point-shooting machine Kevin Love, with Blake Griffin and Rudy Gay also expected to get serious consideration. How healthy Derrick Rose is this summer after what is expected to be a long playoff run also could impact the Team USA roster, which, like the Magic, suddenly is in upheaval.
But the real question isn’t about Olympic gold or roster spots. It’s about where the Magic go from here. After all this about Howard wanting to be traded, refusing to waive his opt out, then waiving his opt out, how bizarre an ending would it be for him to be traded this summer anyway? There’s real skepticism among those who know Howard about whether he and the Magic can possibly patch things up; his back, injured as it is, will be a lot easier to mend. The Howard saga could rock the Magic organization to its core, the way LeBron’s (James) departure for Miami caused a massive makeover in Cleveland. Superstar divorces are ugly, and there are few survivors. Sometimes, they take a little longer — and are a little messier — than others.