The Los Angeles Lakers will be taking a big risk if they decide to keep star center Dwight Howard on the team after the trade deadline.
Howard will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and he will have the freedom to chose any team that has the cap space to sign him. The Lakers understood that they could lose Howard for no return before making the deal to acquire him, and if the center does decide to leave, Los Angeles will be in serious trouble.
However, Chris Broussard reports that the Lakers have told Howard they will not trade him prior to the deadline. Even though there is no guarantee that he will remain with the team for the long-term, the Lakers want to make a championship run with him on the roster.
Dwight Howard has been privately told on repeated occasions by Mitch Kupchak that the Los Angeles Lakers will not trade him, according to sources.
The Lakers have not directly asked Howard if he plans to re-sign with the Lakers, but sources the Lakers are “very confident” that he will remain with the franchise on a new contract.
Sources say Howard truly does not know what he will decide in the summer, but that he will definitely not ask to be traded.
Los Angeles did not sign Howard to a extension after he joined the team, and the front office is hoping it can convince him to stay with the Lakers for the foreseeable future.
Howard has made it clear that he will go to a team that will help him win multiple championships, and somewhere where he will feel most comfortable. Los Angeles put together an extremely talented roster this summer, but for the most part, the Lakers have not lived up to expectations. As of right now, the Lakers are out of the playoff picture, and if they fail to achieve the ultimate goal, there is a chance Howard ends up leaving.