Howard saga may lead Lakers to trade
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
Will the Los Angeles Lakers deal Dwight Howard before the Feb. 21 trade deadline? Not likely. Is it completely unexpected that it seems like a remote possibility? Not entirely.
While no one could have predicted the spectacular demise of the so-called super team Lakers, there were plenty around the league who saw a clash between Howard and the Kobe-Bryant-dominated Lakers culture coming. Sure enough, personalities are clashing (see Wednesday’s team meeting that preceded a fourth consecutive loss, at the Memphis Grizzlies) and rumblings are starting to grow that Howard may have a wandering eye again as he nears free agency this summer.
There are very real indications of that being the case, but you don’t have to delve into the private realm to know that much because of what Howard has said publicly. To wit:
His statement regarding free agency in our mid-December interview: “There’s going to come a day where (Bryant) is going to be gone, and that’s when I have to step in and fill that void and take this team to the next level. That’s why I’m here. That’s why they wanted me here, and I’m going to do my job and my part to make sure this team gets there — and it starts with me.”
His statement on free agency made on Wednesday: “We’re not discussing that. Right now our goal is to win, and all I want to do is win. I have to put all my energy into winning and sacrifice whatever I have to do, humble myself and go out there and play.”
What’s more, the return of random Howard-related reports is — as we learned through the Orlando chapter that was so badly mishandled — yet another sign that something may be amiss. Two people with direct knowledge of the situations adamantly denied both the Jan. 7 report that Howard and Bryant had a locker room altercation and a Jan. 22 report that the Brooklyn Nets were discussing a three-team deal to land Howard. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of … [For more on Dwight Howard saga may lead Los Angeles Lakers to trade, click here.]