Kobe Bryant Thinks Dwight Howard Will Re-Sign With the Lakers

by May 01, 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering an offseason of deep uncertainty. The biggest concern, naturally, is what Dwight Howard will do. Steve Nash wants him back, and Kobe Bryant seems confident in the big fella’s return. Howard, though, says he needs time to clear his head first (and get healthy) before any free agent decision can be made. Per the LA Times: “I’m going to take my time, get away from the game, my phones and everything and just clear my head,’ Howard said Tuesday in an end-of-season interview at the team’s practice facility. ‘I’ll do what’s going to be best for myself, what’s going to make me happy. I can’t control who likes me, who dislikes me, but I have the right to be happy.’ Bryant said it was ‘very important’ for Howard to return. GM Mitch Kupchak also stated his case, expressing confidence in ‘selling the Los Angeles Lakers’ to him. ‘I think he has complete faith in the organization. I think he does like living here. I think it’s all good, which leads me to why I’m optimistic,’ Kupchak said. ‘But if there’s something here that we’re lacking, I don’t know what it is.’ Howard can’t visit other teams until becoming a free agent at 9 p.m. on June 30. Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are among the other possibilities and can offer a maximum of four years and $88 million. Howard can re-sign with the Lakers for five years and $118 million. ‘I think he understands that the sooner he makes a decision, the better it is for everybody,’ Kupchak said. ‘I don’t know if that means a week, a month or seven weeks.’ […] Bryant also had a recruiting pitch for him. ‘I think Los Angeles is the perfect spot for him to assert himself, kind of put his foot down and have his career really take off and be what it should be. There’s no greater place for centers to play than here in Los Angeles,’ he said. Bryant predicted Howard would stay with the team. ‘From a business standpoint it makes more sense, both contractually and also perception-wise,’ Bryant said. ‘A lot of things go well for you if you win here.'”