The Washington Post

Dwight Howard waives early-termination option, will stay with Magic

Dwight Howard was dancing Tuesday night — and dancing around his future in Orlando as well. (Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP)

Dwight Howard has made up his mind: he will forgo free agency and stay with the Orlando Magic through next season.

Howard, according to an ESPN report, has signed the paperwork to waive his contract’s early-termination option for the 2012-13. “He is giving up all of his leverage and his free agency in a show of commitment to his team and most importantly the fans of Orlando,” Howard’s agent, Kevin Samples, told the Orlando Sentinel.

That seemingly puts an end to a will-he-or-won’t-he-opt-in drama that played out over the last day. After repeatedly changing his mind , he told a website in the early-morning hours that he would sign and forego free agency.

“Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando,” Howard told RealGM. “I just can’t leave it behind. ... This has been a very hard time. For me, my family and all of us. The fans deserve a better hero, and I will make that happen. I love and appreciate my fans and this city.

Howard, who was making Brett Favre look decisive, added that he had received “bad advice” as the trade deadline approached. (Earlier in the season, he had requested a trade.) “I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city,” he said. “They didn’t deserve none of this.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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