Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Talks Dwight Howard And Lakers Season

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers-Press ConferenceAt the pre-draft combine in Brooklyn, New York, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke to Maggie Gray of SI.com about the season and the team’s off-season plans.

Of course, the Lakers face an uncertain season next year since Dwight Howard is a free agent and is no guarantee to re-sign with the team. He’s been rumored to be looking at the Houston Rockets and recently has been linked to the Golden State Warriors.

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However, Kupchak seemed confident that Howard would return:

“I have confidence in what we’re providing him. Playing in LA and us having the resources to build around him in the future and opportunities off the court which gives us confidence. He’s earned the right to be a free agent and he’ll have opportunities and hopefully we’ll be at the top at the very end.”

Howard’s first season in L.A. didn’t go as planned as the team was swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs. Also, Howard didn’t get along with head coach Mike D’Antoni as the team struggled to build an identity all season long.

If Howard does leave Los Angeles for Houston, the Lakers would be left scrambling, and next season might be even longer than this one. With Kobe Bryant recovering from a serious injury, the Lakers need Howard to return like the player he was in Orlando if they’re going to do any damage.

Along with Bryant’s injury, forward Pau Gasol underwent a knee procedure, but should be ready for the beginning of training camp.

Since the Lakers season ended, Howard has been very quiet and hasn’t been seen or heard from in Los Angeles for about a month. It’s been rumored that Howard’s camp has stated that he isn’t happy with D’Antoni as his head coach and he could give management an ultimatum that he will only play for former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson.

Howard becomes a free agent on July 1, so get your popcorn ready for Dwightmare part two.

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