Lakers Rumors: Dwight, D’Antoni Partnership Possible Despite Frustrations?

NBA: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles LakersThe Lakers’ off-season is just three weeks old, and the rumor mill surrounding the biggest question in the NBA’s off-season (Where will Dwight Howard sign?) is already heating up. We still have six weeks until free agency starts (July 1), so strap in folks!

For the last three weeks, teams have been popping up as potential suitors in the 2013 Dwight sweepstakes, including Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Brooklyn. Earlier this weekend, rumors landed that Dwight was specifically intrigued with the Rockets and the Mavericks. Then late Monday night, it was reported that Dwight had expressed frustrations of coach Mike D’Antoni to GM Mitch Kupchak after their exit interview.

—- See Dwight Howard through the years in photos! —-

While many suspected Dwight’s frustration with D’Antoni (most Lakers fans have frustrations with D’Antoni as well), the fact that it has been reported isn’t the kind of news the Lakers want to deal with. However, there is some (and I stress “some”) good news with the report from Monday night.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA, Dwight’s frustrations may not be the deal-braker for him deciding to re-sign with the Lakers or not.

A source said Howard was very careful with his public comments about D’Antoni after the season, wary of attracting a “coach killer reputation” after how things ended in Orlando with Stan Van Gundy losing his job. Despite the frustration Howard had with D’Antoni last season, there is nothing to suggest the partnership is irreparable. “It’s not a, ‘It’s me or Mike,’ situation for Dwight,” said a source.

During his exit interview, Mitch Kupchak clarified that he doesn’t weigh personal opinions when evaluating a coach, but rather evaluates him by hard data such as records and stats. However, I think we all know star players’ opinions, like Kobe Bryant, hold real value to the decisions the front office makes.

However, we have yet to see if Dwight Howard’s words have that same type of value. Re-signing Dwight remains the Lakers’ top priority, and even Kobe plans to talk with Dwight and recruit him to stay in purple and g0ld in the near future.


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