Florida: Three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard confirmed Saturday he had formally asked the Orlando Magic to trade him.
The All-Star center signed a contract extension in 2007, but can opt out next year and become a free agent.
The Magic had already said they had given three clubs -- New Jersey, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers -- permission to talk about a trade with Howard's agent.
Howard said Saturday that he loved Orlando, but thinks his career would thrive somewhere else.
"I've done everything for this city. I don't think people understand the magnitude of love I have just for this city," he said. "It's beyond basketball. I think people, anybody should understand that. For me this has just not been a city I enjoy playing basketball in.
"I love everybody here, that's why it's been so tough."
Magic general manager Otis Smith said he still held out hope Howard might decide to stay in Orlando.
If not, he'll do what he can to protect the team's interests.
"When you invest seven years in a player and that's what he decides, then you have to deal with that from that angle. But it's not the end of the world," Smith said. "Like I said before, the Orlando Magic franchise is what it's about.
"We like to make this into an individual game, but the fact of the matter is it's a team sport. And we'll continue to move forward."
Coach Stan Van Gundy was trying to keep his players focused on preparing for the upcoming shortened season, which will start on Christmas Day after a five-month lockout.
There isn't much time to prepare, after the new deal was ratified on Thursday and training camps opened on Friday.
"It's not an easy situation," Van Gundy said. "But just like I'm doing I'd like our other players to do: stay out of it. My issue is to go out and coach the guys that are here every day, which includes Dwight.
"And their issue is to come out and focus and play basketball every day."