The Los Angeles Lakers center has been very quiet this past week, while the noise around Dwight Howard‘s impending free agency continues to get louder. Howard is a Laker until July 1st, when his contract expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent. That is unless the Lakers re-sign him, or he agrees to a sign and trade.
The most intriguing offer is a proposed sign and trade from, get this, the Clippers. Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reports
Lakers have fully resisted Clippers overtures on a sign-and-trade for Dwight Howard. “They will never do it,” source with knowledge tells Y!
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 15, 2013
The offer from the Clippers would reportedly include Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe. Atlanta and Dallas are other interested suitors, but don’t have any players the Lakers would rather have the extra cap space they would get if Howard walked. The Clippers are the only likely team, even though it’s outrageous and unlikely anyway, to be part of a sign and trade.
But Mark Medina of the Daily News reported Monday afternoon that the Lakers will not sign and trade Dwight Howard.
A source familiar with the Lakers’ front office thinking said ‘they’ll either re-sign Dwight or walk away with the cap space.’
This could and probably is the same source.
Meanwhile Dwight seems awfully quiet on all of this. He has made his (lack of) decisions very public before. What is true is he won’t make any decision quickly. The Lakers may have made up their mind about Dwight, but he hasn’t made a decision.
The Lakers public stance is no sign and trade, but that screams playing hard to get to me. If they say for a single second that they want to move Howard, his feelings get hurt and he would decide he absolutely wants out of LA. And more importantly his value diminishes greatly in the short term. Teams will keep asking until July 1st, and the Lakers will listen.
The Lakers may not sign and trade Howard soon, but nothing they saw from Dwight Howard this year says that they shouldn’t.