Hawks Forward Josh Smith Expects Dwight Howard To Stay In L.A.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers-Press ConferenceBesides the Lakers’ struggles, the other hot topic in Los Angeles is Dwight Howard’s upcoming free agency. Will he stay or will he go? His recent Adidas spot suggests he’s “all in” for L.A., but throughout the season, Dwight Howard had been rumored to go to Brooklyn.

One of his close friends, Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, thinks he has an idea of what he’ll do this summer. Here’s the report from Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

“I can’t pick his brain and be in his head but to me, I don’t see him going anywhere,” Smith said before the Lakers hosted the Hawks at Staples Center. “It would be a shock to me.”

Smith goes on.

“Dwight is a loyal athlete and loyal person,” Smith said . “He’s not a quitter and doesn’t run from situations. That’s why I believe with this franchise and the way he’s talked so well about it, I can’t see him going anywhere.”

Loyalty is what Dwight was mocked for after that episode with the Orlando Magic last season. But at the same time, the franchise wasn’t exactly providing the right supporting cast for Dwight in recent seasons. With the Lakers, players flock to Los Angeles because of its winning tradition, endless spending, Hollywood, and its incredible weather. Dwight will likely get more of that supporting cast in Los Angeles than in Orlando and, therefore, a better chance of winning a championship.

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Something that stuck out with me is that Josh Smith (whose team lost to the Lakers on Sunday night) actually mentioned Dwight had talked “so well” about the franchise. With that talk, along with Dwight suggesting more and more that he’s staying in Los Angeles, maybe Lakers Nation shouldn’t fear as much about Dwight going anywhere. And the Lakers, of course, have the advantage; not only because of what was mentioned earlier, but because the Lakers can offer an extra year of security and roughly $30 million more in total salary.

Still, it won’t be safe until Dwight signs the contract. Until then, Los Angeles awaits with baited breath on what he’ll do.

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