Dwight Howard’s recent trade demands have left Magic GM Otis Smith in the unenviable position of needing to find maximum value while the MVP candidate is still under contract rather than end up empty-handed next summer. And while Smith has the slim consolation that whatever deal he might reach with the Nets, Lakers or Clippers cannot be nullified by the league, before that moment arrives, he will have to put up with Howard tellling the local paper that he’s a shit communicator.  Recent acquisitions of Glen Davis, Von Wafer and Jason Richardson be damned, Howard paints a picture for the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins of a executive who’s failed to, well, kiss his ass often enough.

“I’m pretty sure if you go down the line of teams, every GM has a pretty good relationship with not just the best player but all the players,” Howard said. “If you don’t have a good relationship with the people you work with, how are you guys going to get better?

“If there was a good relationship then I wouldn’t tell you guys [in the press] that we haven’t talked. We should still talk, regardless, no matter what goes on. I’ve been here for seven years. And no matter what happens, we still should be able to talk.”

Smith, a former NBA player himself, said he has spoken with Howard about all of his key moves in recent years.  

“When it’s your best player, you really do consult your best player on everything you do,” Smith said. “So you consult your best player on free agency. You consult your best players on trades. And that’s not uncommon. And I have done that.”

Smith has said in the past — most recently on the day last week that Bob Vander Weide announced his resignation as the team’s CEO — that the front office can’t listen to everything Howard suggests and “placate to that.”

“The tail can’t wag the dog in all instances,” Smith said Sunday. “We have to work accordingly together. The best players in the league work together with their front office staff and ownership groups.”