The latest news that came from the Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is that the team is not intended to seek for a trade for big man superstar Dwight Howard. Despite his injuries and his below expectations performance, Howard is still a longshot for the Lakers. He is believed to be the next star to supersede Kobe Bryant when his career is over and the Lakers are very confident that the 6-11” center will resign with them this summer.
It’s no secret that Howard will have a bunch of teams that are going to give a go to land him, like Houston, Dallas Mavericks and perhaps even the Brooklyn through a trade. Those teams have chased Howard last summer, too, when he decided to take his talents to LA to join Kobe and Nash. Although he has kept his mouth closed and diplomatically avoided any true answer regarding his intentions this off-season, it’s widely believed in Lakers circles that he his remain with the team and they have some strong facts that support their beliefs.
First of all, the team can offer him more money than any other team can. It might sound odd, but the new CBA gives a huge advantage to the Lakers in the aspects of keeping Howard. That’s because they are able to offer him a 5-year deal with a maximum salary of about $23.5 million and at the same time a 7.5 yearly increase rate. That means that each other team could totally offer him $30 million less, so a big a plus for LA in this point.
Also, having Kobe Bryant on your roster can only push another start to sign with you and in this case, it will be to remain with the team. Despite the difficulties, chemistry and bonding will eventually come for the team and that’s when Dwight will be more willing to stay. Up to now, this season might have been an unsuccessful one for the Lakers, but when things turn around and Howard gets to see that they are capable of chasing a championship, he will be urged to remain to LA. There’s nothing more convincing for an NBA player than a ring, at least for most of them. Howard has clearly shown that he desperately wants to play for a contender and the Lakers are that team. After all it’s one of the reasons he left the Orlando Magic.
There are also secondary reasons that strengthen the team’s belief that Howard will stay and those might be the big market that Los Angeles is, with the star shine of Hollywood and the glamorous lifestyle and also the chance to work and with the Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar. These only add up to the already strong motives that Howard has in order to stay for the team. So not seeking a trade for Howard is definitely the best choice for the team right now.