Dwight Howard is a great defensive player and an overpowering offensive force in the paint. Howard is arguably the most athletic big man the NBA has ever seen. On the surface, he seems to have everything a franchise would want in their featured player.

But is the 25-year-old Howard a leader?

His coach, according to sources close to the team, isn't too sure.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy reportedly vented his frustrations to a few of Howard's teammates before the start of lockout. Among the list of Van Gundy's concerns were Howard's immaturity and how that immaturity affects his leadership.

Sources said Van Gundy feels that the Magic can be hurt at times by Howard's perceived immaturity. The Magic don't have another superstar player that can challenge the type of leadership his All-Star center provides. The result, according to sources, is Van Gundy's voice remains more dominating than he would like.

Howard's focus was also called into question by Van Gundy, sources said.

As the team's leader, Van Gundy felt Howard's focus wasn't commensurate with his physical talents, falling short of where his team needs it to be. A specific example offered was Howard's dealings with the officials and how he's unwilling to take responsibility for his role in the exchanges that led to a league-leading 18 technical fouls during the 10-11 season.

Sources were clear that Van Gundy respects Howard and genuinely likes him. Publicly, Van Gundy has been complimentary of Howard at most times. He simply wanted to get an idea of how the other players felt while venting a few of his own frustrations.

Follow Jarrod Rudolph on Twitter: @MisterRudolph