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Another report says Dwight Howard plans to remain a Laker

Apr 15, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Howard dunks the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers during their NBA game in Portland AP

Some people — and yesterday that group included some national television NBA pundits — will not let facts get in the way of some good speculation.

Any word leaked out of Dwight Howard’s camp has always been that he would stay a Laker. But that hasn’t stopped some people from speculating he might go to Houston or Cleveland (even though his already damaged image would take another hit as he would be seen as running away from the team of Kareem and Mikan and Wilt).

Now comes another report — this from the well-connected Sam Amick of the USA Today — that Howard is not going anywhere.

While the center who will be a free agent this summer has continued his noncommittal stance about whether he will sign with the Lakers or head elsewhere, two people close to him said they fully expect him to return. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity out of respect for Howard’s decision to wait until the summer to make his final choice.

This is what we have heard all along. He’s not going anywhere.

Howard looked comfortable as the face of the Lakers on Sunday night, scoring 26 points and grabbing 17 rebounds as Los Angeles beat the Spurs. He was a vocal leader on defense and on offense was aggressive in getting deep post position so he could attack Tim Duncan. Dwight looked like a guy who wanted to take on the role as the leader of the Lakers.

Getting the Lakers into the playoffs — then playing well once there, even if the Lakers don’t get out of the first round — starts that process. He’s not replacing Kobe Bryant as the face of the franchise anytime soon, but he’s going to stick around L.A. and give it a shot.

  1. MyTeamsAllStink - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Ok Laker fans its now ok to purchase a Howard #12 jersey.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      D-12 will stay and he is waiting for Mamba to return and
      help him get the BIG Gold Basketball Trophy.

      • kinggw - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        He’s going to be waiting for a while. You need to come to the realization that they aren’t winning any titles in LA anytime soon. This year was their last shot for a while. Do you honestly believe that Howard and a 35 year old Kobe coming off of Achilles surgery are going to do anything in the West next year?

        Howard may be the best center in the league right now, but he is no Shaq. He’s not dominant enough to put the Lakers on his back and take them out of the West. Even if someone like Love joins him in a few years, the Lakers will probably be the third or fourth best team out West. The Lakers had an awesome run o, but everything is cyclical. Every team goes through a period of mediocrity after an extended run at the top, the Lake Show is no different.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        @ King.. ok nostradamus… this team is going to change drastically in the next year and they will have one of the top superstars to build around in Dwight. I’m waiting to see what they do but I’m glad you can already read the future for the rest of us, thanks.

  2. shuttaman1990 - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Booya!
    Now Lakers need to zone in on Kyrie or Lebron James.
    My guess is that we steal Kyrie Irving away!

    Lakers! coming through and taking your superstars right under yo nose, and youainteveenknooit!

    • lmoneyfresh - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Too bad, LBJ is going to opt out and go back to Cleveland.

    • powerpc20 - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      I’m no Laker fan but Uncle Drew and Wes would be fantastic for the future of the Lakers. But good luck to Kupchak (one of the most overrated GMs IMHO) in prying Kyrie from the Cavs anytime soon.

      And anyone who thinks that LeBron’s going to leave Pat Riley and the Heat is just dreaming.

      • eventhorizon04 - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        Agreed. The only reason why LeBron would leave the Heat is if he decides he wants to try to fix his image in Cleveland by coming back. That’s it.

        Why would he go to LA?

        1. The Weather/Nightlife?
        South Beach is pretty nice, so no real advantage to moving to LA.

        2. For Money?
        He accepted a smaller contract to help form the Big 3 in Miami. If money was his number 1 priority, he would’ve stayed in Cleveland (Dan Gilbert would have paid him anything he asked) or gone to the Knicks. Also, Florida has no state income tax.

        3. Publicity/Media exposure?
        I don’t think anybody on the planet would argue that LeBron has trouble getting media coverage, so the LA media market doesn’t give him more exposure than he has right now. He’s already getting international marketing deals.

        4. A Chance to win?
        If LeBron’s goal is to win championships, he’s going to want to stay in the Eastern Conference rather than try to fight his way through the West.

        Those are the 4 main reasons why free agents choose to go to the Lakers, and at this point, LeBron doesn’t need any of them.

        What makes a return to Cleveland a possibility is the “hometown” connection and the chance for redemption. That’s the only reason why he’d leave the Heat.

  3. valeb2012 - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I think everyone should concede that DH’s seeming lack of effort and struggles early this year may’ve had a lot to do with injury and conditioning coming back from surgery. He still can’t shoot a FT, but his effort is definitely there.

  4. aboogy123456 - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    If you were paying attention there was not really any doubt about Howard resigning. What makes this kobe injury so sad is that this will probably be the end of the team that won two championships. Lakers might focus less on next year and more on putting the best team around dwight for the years after. I think this will probably be the end of pau gasol and metta world peace, unfortunately.

    • danfrommv - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      I agree with your assessment, except I think there was (is) some doubt as to his re-signing.
      As far as the outlook for the Lakers contending, sadly I would say that window has closed. Kobe will get back to 90% of what he was, and he will retire after next year because he won’t be able to perform at a level that satisfies him (and he knows the Lakers won’t contend again soon).

      With the new CBA, the Lakers have to get rid of Pau, and they will get nothing comparable in return. Pau will be expensive for someone ($19M next year), and eating up that kind of cap space will make it impossible to get real talent in return. It is hard to imagine any GM thinking of Pau as more than a complementary piece at this point, and his salary is just too large for the level of play.

      So, DH may take a flyer on the Rockets, since he would not have to pay CA income tax (13%). What the Rockets could pay him is comparable, and by signing a 4 year contract instead of 5, he would still be in line for one more big contract at age 31.

      So, DH is looking at a team with No Kobe (for the first part of the season, then a hobbled Kobe), no Pau, an ineffective and oft injured Steve Nash, and a bunch of scrubs (Antawn Jamison has a one year contract).

  5. whitdog23 - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    “OVER-rated”!! the new chant coming to Staples Center

  6. melkipershero - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    A year ago he said he wanted to stay in Orlando and picked up his option instead of becoming a free agent. You really believe anything he says? Just last week he bitched after Kobe had a crazy 47 point game. Look at his body language. Not saying he leaves, but damn he is nothing but a kid in a mans body.

  7. miamatt - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Nice Mikan reference, love giving the old dogs some run.

  8. Kansachusetts - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Please, Dwight, just stay with the Lakers. Then we can watch a banner-less soap opera in L.A. for the rest of your career.

    • Kansachusetts - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      I realize that’s harsh. But I don’t think Howard has the heart of a champion. And as a Boston fan, I get some enjoyment in watching L.A.’s most recent attempt to buy a championship fall flat.

      • thesecondlakerzealot - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        Its a shame Bostons “attempt” to buy a championship in 2007 only got them one. I wouldnt bet on the Celts getting too much further than the LAKERS anytime soon.

      • danfrommv - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:03 PM

        Yeah, Boston didn’t buy one in 2007, they got their old buddy McHale to make a terrible trade in their favor. McHale hosed the Wolves.

      • thesecondlakerzealot - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        By that logic niether did the LAKERS. Last 2 “major” moves in steve nash and D12 came in trades. They did not win a bidding war. Also with the pau trade in 07 they traded (a bad trade for the Griz but a trade none the less). I will also take this opportunity to appologize for the entire LAKERS organization for having a lucrative TV deal which nets a high value which in turn allows high profile players.
        Alsas, my only point here is that KG, Paul “wheelchair” piece and ray ray a were all paid handsomely. Just because you traded does not mean you paid nothing. Also before bucrightoff comes in, yes the LAKERS do the same. But look at your own team before making uninformed statements about “purchasing” talent.

  9. thetooloftools - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Howard could go to Cleveland and then have LeBron join him there.

  10. ecreech410 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    I follow Cleveland basketball pretty closely and I have not heard a peep about Howard coming to Cleveland.

  11. essfjay - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    almost got that 28 & 15. in all seriousness this is quite possibly the best news laker fans hear all day.

  12. beavertonsteve - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Looking at the Lakers roster I will be shocked if anyone outside of Howard and Kobe are still on the roster after next season so I’m not sure how anyone can really speculate on their chances after 2014. Gasol will probably be sold for picks or parts. Nash may only make it one more year. The Lakers will have cash to spend and with Howard and the Lakers championship reputation there will be plenty of draw for free agents.

    The lack of draft picks hurt (unless they manage to get some for Pau), but based on Kupchack’s previous performance I wouldn’t count them out of being back in contention in 2 years.

  13. tuberippin - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    This article is rubbish.

    • thesecondlakerzealot - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      Why? Because it is only further solidifying the fact Dwight is staying with the LAKESHOW, which only means he wont be going your favorite team?

      • tuberippin - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        Not at all. I’m not a Lakers fan, nor a fan of any team in particular in the NBA. I just appreciate the game. I’m not a D12 fan either (sorry, Shaq will forever be the better player). I posted a comment but it did not take the first time (I assume because it has curse words…god forbid we curse on the internet!), so I’ll try and post it again.

        Given the amount of flip-flopping Dwight Howard participated in during the end of his time in Orlando with the Magic, I think it’s best to take any and all reports regarding his future with a grain of salt. Until the ink dries on a new contract, it’s all speculation. Both sides are engaging in speculation, so for Kurt to write “oh, well a couple of people who know Dwight think that he’s going to re-sign with the Lakers, therefore he’s going to sign with the Lakers” and pass that off as concrete evidence of a re-signing, while saying that other reports to the contrary are the only things that are speculation, is patently ridiculous.

        Moreover, if it was “what we’ve heard all along”, there wouldn’t be so much controversy over his future, and he would have already said something tangible about re-signing with the Lakers, rather than his evasive comments about “waiting until the summer” to make a decision.

        Also, your constant capitalization of the Lakers is f***ing stupid.

        Lastly, where is Kurt getting these reports? Cleveland? When has Cleveland ever been an ideal destination for a premier free agent? Houston I’ve heard, sure, since they have gobs of cap space. Dallas, heard that as well. Atlanta, of course. But Cleveland?

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        Yes, I see a curse word in your comment, it’s DOA. We’ve tightened that up around here because too many people (not you) are incapable of an adult conversation in the comments.

        The report in this story was USA Today and the respected Sam Amick. Where did the Cleveland talk come from? ABC/ESPN’s national pregame show where Bill Simmons and others pushed the idea.

      • tuberippin - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        Ah, fair enough. I didn’t know each NBC Sports sub-board has different rules; figured it was universal. My bad. I do a lot of trolling on this board and PFT in particular, now that you mention childish comments and whatnot.

        I don’t usually watch pre-game shows. I take it the guesswork regarding Cleveland is that D12 would want to play with an up-and-coming elite PG like Kyrie as opposed to Steve Blake or Steve Nash? It’s an interesting scenario, but I cannot recall the last time a major free agent went to the Cavs. Larry Hughes, maybe?

  14. soopreme - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    I don’t believe for a second that Dwight is leaning towards staying with the lakers.
    He may stay if he feels the lakers will evetually put the type of talent around him to win, but I think dwight and his camp will listen to several teams to see what the best situation is for him and if the talent is there to win.
    I could be wrong but Dwight never wanted to go to LA in the first place.

    • melkipershero - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Ding ding ding. We have a winner.

    • diggy720 - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Because the Lakers don’t have a track record of surrounding their superstars with talent right!? How did Dwight get here in the first place?

      You think signing for less money (under the new CBA) with any other team (who will have less historical championship pedigree unless its Boston) would be a better situation for Dwight than staying in LA? Your comment reeks of ignorance….

      • eerock41 - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        yours reeks of a lakers fan…..

  15. jimbo75025 - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    D Howards mind is like the weather in the South, if you do not like it wait 5 minutes and it will change.

  16. eerock41 - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Howard may be a immature idiot, but even a immature idiot cant walk away from 30 million.

    • danfrommv - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Whenever I hear that amount ($30 Million), I have to think it is actually a bit misleading. It is $30M more over 5 years than the contract he can sign with anyone else after 4. However, in that 5th year, he will make some amount of money (e.g. $25M per year) so it is really only a fraction less ($5M compared to the total value of the contract). And playing in Texas or Florida he would not pay any income tax, whereas in LA he gets to pay our 13% rate on almost all of his salary, so the salaries are even more comparable in that context.

      Also, he has some flexibility to become a FA from the new team if they aren’t contending in 4 years, when he will be 31. He could still get ANOTHER contract. So the only major difference is the security of that 5th year, in case he gets injured.

  17. omniusprime - Apr 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Only a total idiot would think that Dwight Howard would willing exile himself to the Cleveland Cadavers. Cleveland is a trash dump compared to where Dwight has been playing, it’s obvious Howard likes warm weather cities. Houston is a cultural wasteland compared to Los Angeles so there’s no reason for him to go there either, not to mention the Rockets are never any good.

    Ha Ha eat your hearts out Laker haters, you’re going to have to endure watching the Lakers rise up from the ashes like a Phoenix and win more NBA championships before Kobe retires. Only the Lakers can afford to put a great team around Howard and he’s seen how much better the Laker organization is compared to the Tragic one he rightfully left in disgust.

    Dwight Howard – Next Great Laker Champion!!!

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