Dwight Howard rumors: Lakers confident to re-sign center but will mull options

Ronald Martinez

The Los Angeles Lakers believe they are in a good place to re-sign their free agent big man, but if sign-and-trade options appear on their table they won't discount them.

The Los Angeles Lakers are confident that they can re-sign free agent center Dwight Howard this offseason and hope to do so, but that doesn't mean they're throwing all of their eggs into that basket. ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne report that the Lakers are going into July with a "keep-all-options-open approach."

It's expected that the Houston Rockets, who are considered the leading suitor for Howard outside Los Angeles, will chase after him as a free agent but also prepare a sign-and-trade proposal to send to the Lakers. Even though Los Angeles would like to keep Howard, they will not shy away from considering such a deal. At the same time, it's unlikely they take a sign-and-trade because it would probably include long-term contracts.

Taking on those would hamper the Lakers' ability to sit tight with a core of Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and a recovering Kobe Bryant in 2013-14 while waiting for a big-name free agent summer in 2014. For example, Houston would probably include either Jeremy Lin or Omer Asik to the Lakers in a Howard sign-and-trade package. While both are conceptually nice pieces, adding them to an already-problematic luxury tax wouldn't help in the longterm.

So if Howard does leave, it wouldn't be outlandish to predict the Lakers simply accept it while saving cap space for next summer.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Times reported that neither the Lakers nor the Clippers would be willing to swap Howard for the Clippers' Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe. ESPN, however, says that is not because of any philosophies within the Lakers organization of never making a trade with their fellow Staples Center rivals. The Lakers wouldn't completely dismiss such a deal if it were offered.

More from SB Nation:

Flannery: The sad song of Manu’s decline

Doc Rivers to the Clippers? Not so fast

Wade returns to his roots

NBA mock draft: Best-case scenarios | Scouting reports | Big Board

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.