Long before the coaching change, injuries, the endless drama, inexplicable losing, and the painfully slow recovery from back surgery, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told Dwight Howard when he arrived in Los Angeles that he wanted to hang his jersey up in the Staples Center rafters some day. Kupchak continues to push that line of thinking publicly, and says that he envisions Howard getting his own statue years from now. (This, friends, is your cue to laugh uproariously.) Per ESPN: “Dwight is our future,’ Kupchak said. ‘Kobe [Bryant] has one more year on his deal [this year, plus one]. That’s all I can bank on or this organization can bank on. I have no idea if he wants to continue to play beyond next year. As of now, we’re looking at a two-year window, [and that] plays to the urgency of the situation and how we build the team. … This team’s window to win is this year and next year. … We’ve been very consistent,’ Kupchak said. ‘We’re not trading Dwight Howard. … He will not be traded and there’s nothing that anybody can do today to call me today and ask me, ‘Would you do this?’ and get a positive result.’ Kupchak called Howard the best center in the league and expressed how difficult it is to acquire talent like that, especially with the restrictions in place since the league’s new collective bargaining agreement was ratified. ‘It’s hard to get talent in this league and to have a talent like Dwight Howard, we have no intention of trading Dwight Howard,’ Kupchak said. ‘He deserves … belongs to have his name on the wall [as a retired uniform] and a statue in front of Staples [Center] at some point and time.’”