Dwight wants out, but will the Magic comply?

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Dwight wants out, but will the Magic comply?

From Comcast SportsNet
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Magic say they haven't committed to honoring Dwight Howard's latest trade demand that he be dealt to the Brooklyn Nets. New Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan said Monday that Howard told him in a meeting last week that he would like to be traded, but Hennigan said he has not committed to honoring that demand. He said will keep communication lines open between both the All-Star and his agent. It's exactly the scenario the Magic wanted to avoid -- for a second time. Howard listed several teams last season that he wanted to be traded to, but on the day of the trading deadline he committed to the Magic for the 2012-13 season. Magic CEO Alex Martins has said previously that the organization will not enter next season with Howard's situation unresolved. Orlando was looking to sign Howard to a long-term deal, however, now that Howard has had his first, face-to-face sit down with the Magic's new general manager, the All-Star center made it clear he still very much wants out of Orlando. Hennigan said that having Howard single out one team as a desired destination does complicate any potential trade scenarios, but for now, there is no immediate move the Magic to make following the sit down. "As I told Dwight, I said I don't know. I have to think about what you're telling me.' I want to take some time to process everything," Hennigan said of the meeting. "And the answer is we want to map out what's in the best interest of our team. And any decision that at decide going forward with will be one that we feel puts our team in a position to be successful and move forward." Howard told Yahoo Sports Monday that he won't sign long-term with another team if the Magic decide to trade him to somewhere other than Brooklyn. "There's only one team on my list and if I don't get traded there, I'll play the season out and explore my free agency after that," Howard said. Howard also vigorously denied an ESPN report that he was claiming that the Magic blackmailed him at the trade deadline to give up the opt-out provision in his contract that would have allowed him to become a free-agent this summer. Howard asked to be traded last season, and then opted-in for 2012-2013 -- forgoing becoming a free agent this summer. "I never used the word blackmail in reference to any of my dealings with the Magic," Howard said. "I never said that. It's defamatory and it's inaccurate. I know what blackmail means and any report that I used the term incorrectly is inaccurate." Hennigan also said the charge was never levied by Howard. "In terms of his health, I think what I can tell you is that Dwight's rehabilitation process is progressing in the right direction," he said. "I do not believe his health will be an issue going forward." Hennigan reiterated that beyond sharing Dwight's request, he wants the discussions beyond that to remain private at this time in order as a matter of trust between himself and Howard. "That's my plan with Dwight and with whoever we talk to on our roster...I would leave it to Dwight to share with Dwight any details he wants to share about the conversation," Hennigan said. "But again, out of respect for the trust and privacy I'm trying to build I'm not really going to talk about what else we discussed." Aside from Howard, the Magic are facing other lingering free agency questions surrounding career-long Magic players Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick, and reigning league most improved player Ryan Anderson. Nelson told the Magic last week that he would opt out of the final year and nearly 8 million of his contract and test free agency. Redick is due 6.1 million next year in the final season of his deal, but the team can get out of that if they waive him by July 7. Anderson is a restricted free agent, though the Magic extended a qualifying offer to the third-year forward last week. It allows the team to match any offer he receives on the open market this summer. Hennigan said that they will take their time this week making a decision on Redick and still hope to keep Nelson next year. "My hope is that he remains in Orlando and in a Magic uniform," he said of Nelson. "But there needs to be a mutual desire for that to happen."

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Bradley Beal welcomes fellow St. Louis-native Jayson Tatum to NBA, Wizards-Celtics rivalry

Bradley Beal welcomes fellow St. Louis-native Jayson Tatum to NBA, Wizards-Celtics rivalry

Bradley Beal loves representing his hometown of St. Louis, Mo., so on Thursday night when fellow St. Louis-native Jayson Tatum was picked third overall in the NBA Draft, he had to send a shoutout via Twitter. Unfortunately for Beal, however, Tatum got picked by the Boston Celtics, a team his Wizards have a budding rivalry with.

Here is what Beal tweeted:

Those Celtics also happened to knock the Wizards out of the playoffs by beating them in seven games in the second round. Beal added another tweet to suggest he still isn't over it:

Sounds like Beal has some serious mixed feelings.

[RELATED: D.C. native Markelle Fultz picked No. 1 in 2017 NBA Draft by Sixers]

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Speedy De'Aaron Fox says he'll model game after John Wall in the playoffs

Speedy De'Aaron Fox says he'll model game after John Wall in the playoffs

Just moments after being drafted No. 5 by the Sacramento Kings, De'Aaron Fox stepped off the stage and into an interview with ESPN

He spoke about his family and his gratitude to have made it to the NBA level, but as soon as the opportunity arose, Fox brought up his Kentucky predecessor John Wall.

A lot of the comparisons are to John Wall, and you saw how he was competing and how he was playing in the playoffs. So if I'm able to use my speed the way he was, then speed kills. And you can't really teach it.

The question was how Fox expects his speed to translate on an NBA level.

It's a conversation that Wall – also a Kentucky point guard who declared for the draft after only one year – had a lot during the draft process as well. 

As Wizards fans can attest, Wall's quickness has set him apart even in a league full of fast, athletic players.

Those wheels helped propel Washington through to the second round of the NBA playoffs this past season. They also helped land Wall the first All-NBA selection of his career. 

Prior to this year's draft, the Wizards star predicted that Fox – not Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball – would have the most successful NBA career of all the point guards in the draft. 

If Fox can live up to the hype, he may prove Wall right. 

MORE WIZARDS: D.C. native Fultz picked No. 1 in 2017 NBA Draft by Sixers