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Dwight Howard fitting in with Lakers, so bet he re-signs

Oct 4, 2012, 9:47 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Media Day Getty Images

We’re still in the honeymoon phase with the Lakers and Dwight Howard — not that they are ever going to fall out of love with him, but the relationship hasn’t been tested yet. Right now it’s all champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

He’s practicing with the team and all the reports are glowing.

Which makes the already very like seem more obvious than ever — Dwight Howard is going to re-sign with the Lakers next summer. I mean, something could go wrong and blow up the relationship, but Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reports Howard is thinking it.

Like the rest of the basketball universe, sources close to him say they’d be shocked if Howard — who can get a fifth year and an annual 7.5 percent raise with the Lakers as opposed to a four-year deal with a 4.5 percent raises with any other team next summer — doesn’t sign a long-term deal with the Lakers in July. The drama, in other words, is over for now.

It’s more than the money (although the money is part of it). Howard has spent the better part of the last year shredding his once good public image. What he really doesn’t want to do is leave the Lakers to re-open the free agent door and essentially just jump into a public bidding process. He’s not going to sign an extension with the Lakers — that would be financially stupid under the new rules (he could only sign for three years at 4.5 percent raises) — but he can’t pretend to want to be a free agent again and test the market.

The move for him now is to keep his head down, don’t say/do anything controversial and dominate on the court. Win. If you’re following the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James image rebuilding model, you have to get a ring. Or better yet, rings (plural). We are America, we love and forgive winners. We just do. Fair or not.

  1. joshm5683 - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    I’m a Lakers fan and am very happy he seems to be in good health and would be surprised if he didn’t sign. I feel sad for the Rockets though, because they have a great run organization and I think Mr. Morey had the right idea of if you have him on your team he isn’t going to leave all that money on the table. I think unless it was a chronic loser like the Bobcats, he probably would have re-signed with wherever he was traded. Oh well, works out for us! Hopefully there are more titles in the near future and can finally pass Boston in the titles department!

  2. dpeter11 - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Eff the lakers and eff that goof Dwight Howard. They deserve each other and it will be fun watching that train wreck this season

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      I’m sure the LAKERS are real butthurt about your comment!

  3. fordmandalay - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    If he wants to be thought of as an all-time great, he’s got to stay with one of the NBA’s glamour teams, such as the Lakers. If he wants to make a ton of money on endorsements – the same. If he wants to be involved in additional fields such as music, movies, TV – again, the same. He’s where he needs to be, and he knows it. He’s not going anywhere.

  4. dsims7 - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    So the clown is back in thte news again? Next time I was to see him? Him and Kobe on that divorce court show!

  5. jeffw - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    This is the first of 5000 articles this site will write this season about DW re-signing with the Lakers. They will alternate between he definitely will re-sign and no way in hell he re-ups. What passes as journalism these days… Oy.

  6. lakerluver - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Of course he’s staying with the LAKERS. After all, why wouldn’t he, it’s the LAKERS!!

  7. echech88 - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    This is a no-brainer. Even if he’s not head over heels for this current roster, he just saw how the Lakers can pull rabbits out of a hat to reload.

    He’s on a team that other players take less money to be on. He’s not going to leave that built in advantage unless the Buss family really does something to piss him off on a personal level.

  8. paulhargis53 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Yes, why wouldn’t he stay with the lakers?

    lakerluver, the 39 year old fanboy gives out free oral treats and handies after every home game. If they bring home the title, he’s promised to let them poke him in the fartbox…

    • ocgunslinger - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      You’re one sick dude.

  9. tsi431 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Lakers sure lucked out again. With Bynum’s new knee issue, they never would have been able to trade him at this point. A whole season with Howard is much better then a trade deadline rent-a-deal any day.

    • zacksdad - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      We also lucked out when the “Commish” vetoed the Chris Paul trade. While I would prefer to have Chris Paul vs. Steve Nash. But I actually prefer having Nash, Gasol, and Howard vs just Paul and Howard.

      And so thanks to Cuban on two fronts, thank you for pushing Stern on killing the trade and also having the salary cap space to allow Howard to demand his trade. Suck on that egg Cuban…

      • manchestermiracle - Oct 5, 2012 at 1:19 AM

        I think the Lakers gave Cuban the ultimate rotten egg when they shipped that head-case Odom off to Dallas. And now the Clippers get to see if he’s still damaged goods. Win-win for the Lakers.

  10. lakerluver - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    The LAKERS……the team that the elite of the elite want to play for! Here’s a prediction for you to marinate on: don’t be shocked if a certain 6’8″, 260 lb all world, point forward, with a receding hairline decides he’s ” taking his talents” to L.A. in a few seasons to team up with D12. Believe it!!!!

  11. fanz928 - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    I don’t think Dwight dumb enough to isolate himself in a island after Kobe and Nash retires in 2 yrs or 1

    • eerock41 - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      Howard is that dumb, and who ever believes that it is not all about the money is fooling themselves.

  12. lakerluver - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    @fanz928, dude, really? Come on, we’re talking about the LAKERS here!! I’m no NBA G.M. and even I know that the LAKERS are going to take all that money that they’re paying Kobe, Pau, Nash, Artest and Jamison and go after the top free agents on the market in 2-3 seasons. Why do you think all the above mentioned players only have 2-3 year contracts? Haven’t you been listening to Kobe talk about grooming D12 so the LAKERS can keep rolling after he retires? Better yet, have you been watching the way the LAKERS have operated since the great Dr. Buss bought the team? This may sound arrogant but the LAKERS get elite free agents that other teams simply can’t. Maybe it’s got something to do with all those banners and jerseys hanging from the rafters at the Staples Center.

  13. paulhargis53 - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    I’m a sick dude huh? Read lakerluvers post sometimes. It’s like brokeback mountain on a basketball court.

    I’m just calling it as I see it. He has issues.

  14. jerdogthompson - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Paulhargis…….

    Man when I read that first post I laughed out loud to the point where people turned around to look at me. That’s one of the funniest freaking posts I’ve ever read. Keep it coming.

    Yeah, D12 resigns and when the repeater tax kicks in as the team is currently constructed they will be 120 million in the hole (adjusted for the TWC deal). I’m sure jerseys and tickets will make up the difference right?

    Keep dreaming, they will be devoid of any meaningful draft picks for several years and no one in their right mind will take Gasofts contract. All I can say is you better pray they win it all this year as anything less will lead to 5 years of basement conditions.

    Bring on team Viagra!!!!!!!

  15. omniusprime - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Love seeing the crybabies whining about how great the Lakers are with Nash and Howard added to the team. Laker fans are going to enjoy this season and another championship banner in Staples in June. The moon is setting over Miami as they will not be able to keep the title away from Kobe and Howard. Go Kobe!!! Go Howard!!! Go Lakers!!!

  16. paulhargis53 - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Nobody is crying ominus.

    Outside of Laker and Heat fans, everyone else knows that titles are won in June, not October.

    It’s the over the top homerism why your fanbases are detested.

    This title isn’t in the bag for anyone. If Howard’s back is an ongoing issue, which it could very well be, the wheels of the Laker bus will come flying off.

    Is temper the enthusiasm a bit until you see what he looks like. You all act like back surgery is like a appendectomy.

    OKC is not going to just roll over either. They are a younger more athletic team. They also have several bigs to throw at DH. After DH, the Lakers have a can of Spam at the 5.

    I wouldn’t go looking for a place in Staples to raise a banner just yet…

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