Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard might want to play for a new team this offseason, but the Lakers have no intention of moving him in a sign-and-trade, according to Lakers Nation's Mark Heisler.
The Lakers hope to re-sign Howard. If he decides to bolt, though, they will apparently be fine with banking the nearly $50 million in salary and luxury tax savings. Los Angeles would then have even more cap space available for the free agent class of 2014 that could include LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, among other stars.
If the Lakers are truly unwilling to sign-and-trade Howard, that eliminates the already highly unlikely scenario of the big man and Chris Paul teaming up with the Clippers -- apparently the preferred option of the two superstars -- because the belief is that Howard would have to be involved in a sign-and-trade for Blake Griffin. As it stands, however, neither team seems very interested in executing such a deal.
The Lakers' opposition against a sign-and-trade would also hurt the Houston Rockets' chances of teaming up Howard and Paul. The Rockets are already trying to open up max salary space for a run at Howard, but it would only be feasible to make a run at both if they were able to deal the combined $16.8 million owed to Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin.
The Lakers have no interest in taking on that salary, however, as they'd reportedly rather save the money and pay for a more impactful player down the line.