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Dwight Howard Feels 'Blackmailed' By Magic, Wants To Be Traded To Brooklyn Nets: Report [Updated]

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Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard answers questions during a news conference,Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. Howard announced he will remain with the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team through next season.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard answers questions during a news conference,Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. Howard announced he will remain with the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team through next season.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

That didn't take long.

NBA free agency may have only started at 12:01 Sunday morning but there were already loads of storylines to follow before Tiger Woods teed off several hours later, including allegations of "blackmail."

Not surprisingly, center Dwight Howard was a hot topic of conversation as his often absurd relationship with the Orlando Magic took yet another turn. The newest update comes from ESPN's Chris Broussard, who reported that Howard informed new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan that he wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. That Howard is eying Brooklyn as his destination his hardly new, since he was doing the same before the 2011-12 season began.

What makes Broussard's report noteworthy is that it reveals that Howard has discussed his "feelings of being blackmailed" by the Magic with those around him and the Players Association and is considering making a legal complaint. Howard decided to stick with Orlando through the 2012-13 season back in March, waiving his early termination option in his contract and postponing free agency for one more summer.

As has been the case throughout the Dwightmare in Orlando, it still doesn't appear that Brooklyn has enough assets to pull off a trade for Howard. Perhaps aware that Howard is a longshot, the Nets are already exploring a deal with Atlanta for Joe Johnson. The Nets have also agreed to a four-year deal worth $40 million with Gerald Wallace.

If the Howard-to-the-Nets deal never comes to be then the Lakers might be interested in the All-Star pivot. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Lakers and Magic have had "preliminary contact" about a potential deal for Howard.

It wasn't too long ago that former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy admitted to reporters that Howard had asked for him to be fired throughout the season. More than a month later, Van Gundy was fired. Will Howard get his way this time?

UPDATE: Howard denied ESPN's report that he had told people he felt "blackmailed" by the Magic organization, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

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