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Friday, July 5th, 2013 at 10:00 am  |  49 responses

Lakers Reportedly Pessimistic About Dwight Howard Re-Signing


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

Things look bleak in Laker-land at the moment, with indications being that superstar center free agent Dwight Howard will bolt to another franchise.

Howard has yet to make his intentions publicly-known, but scanning the tea leaves, it appears that he may prepared to move on from Hollywood.

Per ESPN:

After team sources initially indicated the Lakers were feeling better about their chances after their face-to-face meeting with [Dwight] Howard on Tuesday than they did coming into it, pessimism began to creep back in Thursday, stemming mostly from ongoing questions outside and inside team headquarters about Howard’s ability and willingness to co-exist alongside Kobe Bryant and play for coach Mike D’Antoni. Sources close to the situation stressed that the famously fickle Howard — deliberating at a hideaway in Aspen, Colo. — still was undecided about choosing between the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and incumbent Lakers. Yet, there were indications late Thursday that Lakers officials, already bracing for the worst, had begun to rethink their long-held position of ruling out sign-and-trade options in the event Howard decides to bolt to one of L.A.’s rivals.

One source briefed on the Lakers’ thinking said that, if the extra fifth year and nearly $30 million they can offer Howard isn’t enough to hold off the competition, they would be forced to “look at everything.” For months, Lakers officials have privately indicated they have no interest in taking back long-term contracts in a sign-and-trade for Howard, preferring to preserve their salary-cap space for the summer of 2014 and focus on slashing their luxury-tax bill for the coming season.

With Dwight Howard possibly relocating, and Kobe Bryant’s Achilles injury situation still very much up in the air, the Los Angeles Lakers could conceivably trout an Opening Night starting lineup consisting of Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Steve Nash and Steve Blake. Yikes.

This latest Dwightmare will be over soon enough, but should the Lakers lose out on the NBA’s most coveted free agent this summer, their fans can expect to have plenty of sleepless nights going forward.

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  • OfftheWall87

    Yikes is the perfect word for it if/when Dwight chooses to play elsewhere.

  • shockexchange

    The Lakers put themselves in this position by (i) getting rid of Bynum and (ii) effectively “renting” D12 for a year and hoping he would re-sign. In the Shock Exchange’s opinion, if Rent-A-Center doesn’t re-sign, it will be a blunder of monumental portion and heads will roll.

  • pposse

    this would have never been a problem if phil jackson was the guy sitting at the head of the bench

  • shockexchange

    True. But why did Phil step down in the first place? L.A. was the most underachieving team in the L. They had Odom, Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum at the same ____ time, and Horry Jr. It’s a disgrace that that team didn’t win at least 5 chips.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    See? This is how you get your story to the top of SLAM News. You use paragraphs!

  • OfftheWall87

    It was his health more than anything else.

  • The Seed

    If Howard is turned off by Kobe’s pitch, let him leave. Lakers should do a sign and trade to whatever team he wants to go to and rip them off. If its Golden State, try to get Bogut and Klay. If its the Mavs, don’t take anything. If its the Rockets try to get Parsons and Asik. If its the Hawks, don’t take anything. If Howard was smart and did not want to be apart of the Lakers legacy go to Warriors or Rockets. The rest of the teams are going nowhere.

  • shockexchange

    Coaching a team with “exceptionally more talent than the rest of the L” that consistently loses to lesser talented clubs would cause your health to deteriorate. Miraculously, as soon as LA signed D12 Phil’s health got better.

  • Rockwell

    Klay Thompson and a year of Andrew Bogut would actually be a pretty decent return for Dwight considering the circumstances. Thompson would give them a solid wing who can play alongside and eventually replace Kobe and Bogut is one of the best centers in the league when he’s healthy. Plus Thompson is from Southern Cali and his dad played for the Lakers, so you know he’ll be stoked to be coming back home!

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    FWIW, the man will be 68 in September. Most people would’ve retired by then. Jerry Sloan was 68 when he decided he couldn’t take anymore BS from his players.

  • shockexchange

    Agreed. If Rent-A-Center doesn’t re-sign with L.A., the Shock Exchange believes Phil will start grabbing his heart an exclaim, “‘Lisabeth … I’m comin’ to join ya honey. I’ll be the coach with the ‘most underachieving team in the L.’”

  • Cartel

    Yo, it’s like we’re watching two franchises switch roles in L.A….The Clippers are slowly becoming THE team for L.A., while the Lakers are slowly becoming the OTHER team in L.A….

  • spit hot fiyah

    “Sources close to the situation”

    how close though? we want to know!

    i’m going to be all over these since there is actual basketball to talk about

  • spit hot fiyah

    why on earth would houston just give away parsons? he has like the best contract in the league compared to his production. it’s not like howard is restricted

  • Love The Game

    These Dwight Howard articles make me want to throw my milkshake cup across the office. I love Slam but the thought of these updates everyday makes me shed a tear. Knowing this guy, he will wait til the last possible moment to announce his decision.

  • The Seed

    Clippers have done nothing yet, except underachieve.

  • The Seed

    Howard wants another superstar, so Parsons and somebody else. Lakers would only want him back and something else. Thats why.

  • vINSANITY

    Wow it seems like just yesterday he was in orlando

  • Lloyd

    Regardless, if you live in L.A. I’m pretty sure it’s a lot easier to get excited about Clipper basketball than Laker basketball for the near future.

  • Tam

    Let Howard go, he’s not getting any rings with any team that he goes to. Unless Kobe sell him one

  • spit hot fiyah

    what? houston doesn’t have to give anything up at all, they would be willing to give up asik and his contract since he plays the same position as howard. but why just give away parson who they love?

  • bill

    That’s why he said “are slowly becoming” and not “have become”.

    However, by “underachieving” you don’t mean in the sense of the Lakers barely squeaking into the playoffs with the best center and, according to Laker fans, the best player since Naismith wove a wicker basket together, do you? ‘course not.

  • OfftheWall87

    They’re not giving up Parsons. Seed is just talking out of his behind. “Lakers should do a sign and trade to whatever team he wants to go to and rip them off”. That lets you know what his deal is.

  • OfftheWall87

    No, after he had cancer surgery, his health got better.

  • RunNGun

    D12 to Houston… make it happen, Morey! Lakers will be back in the Bynum Sweepstakes. :)

  • Conor

    Chris Palmer, a superior source of reliability from ESPN than Broussard the Evangelical, wrote that a confidante of Howard’s indicated he will stay in LA.

    These articles are merely hit generators. Not only would Howard leaving have massive karmic implications, he would be turning his back on 2014, which would be utterly imbecilic.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Apparently Dwight has made a decision and will announce it on Twitter…

    Peter Vecsey ‏@PeterVecsey1
    I’m told Howard has reached decision. Announcement on twitter. Texted him to feel free to use my account

  • MackAtttack

    Agreed!!!!

  • Conor

    Why aren’t these kinds of anticipatory fabrications reported for the other teams involved? Broussard’s & Stein’s respective “sources” only include LA? smh

  • Conor

    Howard re-signing, per Chris Palmer. Also of ESPN.

  • The Philosopher

    By the way, SLAM is g.o.a.t

  • #Ewingwouldkilldwight

    If this was the 90′s, Dwight would be an Average Center.

  • OfftheWall87

    Houston it is…Smart move Dwight.

  • Deafballer

    Slam, I need your help and I figured I would post it on a page that is going to get a lot of hits. Are there any websites where one can get Jordans (specifically 6, 7, 12, 13′s) without having to worry too much about the fakes? Ebay terrifies me so I would like to stay away from there.

  • Dagger

    “Massive karmic implications” . . . I love it. He doesn’t need the possibility of 2014 on that Rockets team. Considering the state of the west right now, they would be a contender right off the bat.

  • robb

    go to searchforyourselfyoulazyfuck.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/myselfunderkarma Fredd.

    Nope ( and i am a Pat fan )

  • robb

    He’s just a more athletic Kevin Willis

  • deafballer

    thanks for the love, much appreciated. can’t really type legit jordans and know theyre legit.

  • RunNGun

    Dwight to the Rockets confirmed. Morey made it happen. Laker fans are all on suicide watch now. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2013/07/05/nba-dwight-howard-makes-his-decision/2492347/

  • OfftheWall87

    More like Jim Buss made sure no superstar player wants to play there while he’s in charge. Dumb moves all over the place led to this. Heard Dwight didn’t even look them really in the eye during their meeting. D’Antoni didn’t say a word. Dwight knows Buss is going to do whatever he wants to do whether it’s for the good of the team or not. Not even listening to what anyone has to say.

  • Mars

    Good for Dwight. There’s no use trying to save face when he’s taking all the blaim anyway. Might as well go where you wanna be and actually have a chance to compete. Houston is supposedly getting Josh Smith and Rondo & Jeff Green for Asik, Lin, White and draft pick going to Boston and Atlanta exclusively. I’d say today is a good day for Texas. Now if the Texans go to the Super Bowl it may be time for a revolution.

  • Mars

    These lakers fans are delusional. If they had real balls, they’d fire sale like Boston. Kobe is only gonna play 50 games at most. Steve Nash, 2 time MVP, is a liability. D’Antoni doesn’t know how to use Gasol (smh). Earl bounced (smart dude). World peace is, well he’s World Peace (nuff said). Jamison and Blake fell for it too (gold & purple). At the end of the day, man makes the money, money don’t make the man. Message.

  • Jeff Davis

    The Lakers will be fine people. They may struggle this coming season, but they’ll have something like $70 million available for the 2014 free agent class. They also need to do what they can to get into the first round of the 2014 NBA draft.

  • Drig

    Hmmm………..why don’t you actually match salaries and show motivation for other teams to give up their players for Gasol or Nash or World Peace smart guy?

    It’s easy saying the Lakers should trade him and be done with it. It doesn’t work that way.

  • Drig

    Each franchise has its ebbs and flows. Clippers will have the more exciting team but till Griffin and DeAndre improve quickly and lockdown the Clippers’ paint, it’ll be hard for CP3 and Doc to get past Mem, Hou, Sas, Okc, Heat and Pacers IMO.

  • Lloyd

    Nah the Lakers has a storied past is all now. They’re going to be mediocre at best for a good while. The Clippers have a young, fun to watch, exciting team who are deep with talent. Who would you choose if you had to be a fan of only one?

  • Drig

    If I’m a newbie, Clippers because of dunks.

    If I’m a basketball fan, I’d watch Lakers for the final few chances to witness Kobe’s game.

    I’m not as hyped up about the Clips as I am about Brooklyn or Houston. Clips interior D and FT shooting are still gonna be an issue in crunch time if DeAndre doesn’t improve. Clips 2nd option can be neutralized as seen this season. Honestly, Blake hasn’t raised his game up as much as I expected him to in the POs. Also, defensively, he still to improve before he can hold down the fort.

    They’ve got the best PG on teh planet, a great coach who draws up great plays off of timeouts ( crucial in teh playoffs ) , solid shooters who can space the floor. However, they still don’t have the depth or the best 6 rotation out West.

    They look like a team who’ll be a tough out in the 2nd round. NBA Finalists at best but I still see Indy, Mia, OKC and SAS as being better.

  • Lloyd

    That’s all well and good, but again, if you’re in LA you’re generally going to be more amped for Clipper games. The same hype level that the Lakers used to receive. The Clips are the new “it” team in LA.

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