The Orlando Magic enter Thursday's NBA trade deadline knowing for certain that Dwight Howard plans to become a free agent July 1.

In a Wednesday night conference call with team officials before Orlando's game in San Antonio, after indications to the contrary earlier in the day, Howard firmly told the Magic he is not prepared to surrender the option in his contract that allows him to become a free agent at season's end.

Magic spokesman George Galante confirmed the conference call to the Associated Press on Wednesday night after ESPN.com, citing sources with knowledge of the call, reported that Howard and agent Dan Fegan clarified their position with Magic CEO Alex Martins, owner Rich DeVos and other members of the DeVos family on the line.

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