With the Lakers season officially in the books, the off season speculation and rumors about Lakers center have been heating up in recent days. There have been reports about both the Clippers planning on going after him and Howard showing some interest in the Houston Rockets.
However, it still remains in the best interest of the Lakers, and most notably Kobe Bryant, to keep Dwight with the team moving forward.
Interesting off season looming.. Will spend time with d12 #stay and talk with the Buss family in hopes that Pau stays as well #my2cents
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 21, 2013
With Kobe entering the last year of his deal, the team would be Howard’s to take over in the year’s following Kobe’s exit from the league, but Howard has to want to be here first. And the first step in him returning is knowing that the team’s current alpha male want’s him to suit up in the forum blue and gold.
There had been stories throughout the season about the relationship between Kobe and Howard, but the team seemed to gel during the second half of the season and had a nice 28-12 run down the stretch.
A lot of that also had to do with power forward Pau Gasol finally getting healthy and playing to his potential. The team as currently constructed proved that they can go out and win games, and Gasol has always been one of Kobe’s guys. No one would be happier if Gasol returned to the team than Kobe considering the two won a pair of championships together in the seasons ending in 2009 and 2010.
If Kobe has proved nothing else in his career, he’s proved that he’s willing to do what it takes to win, and if that means going out and recruiting the league’s best center and convincing the team’s owner to bring back their starting power forward, than that’s what he’s going to do.
Things are certainly up in the air as no one really knows what’s on Howard’s mind and Gasol’s trade value is as high as it’s ever been considering his great play down the stretch and his expiring contract. It’ll be interesting to watch how this roster materializes as the summer progresses.