Lakers Rumors: Team Hoping to Retain Dwight Howard, But Remain Open

Dwight Howard JPGThe Dwight Howard saga took an expected turn on Sunday. I guess this isn’t a surprise, since just about everything is expected when it comes to Dwight these days. But in the latest reports from Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, it seems the team is hoping to lure Dwight back to Los Angeles (not surprising) but are also keeping their options open in case he doesn’t want to return (also, not surprising).

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Here’s the latest on where the Lakers believe they stand with their center;

The Lakers have had several discussions with Howard’s representatives over the past few weeks and remain confident that they will ultimately keep him with the franchise, even as he’s made it clear he will entertain other suitors.

This comes on the heels of trade rumors yesterday indicating that the team might be willing to part with Howard in an exchange with the Clippers for Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe. Of course that in itself came on the heels of a report from Mark Heisler that the team wouldn’t entertain any kind of sign and trade when it comes to Dwight.

So what does this mean?

We still don’t know anything.

But according to the ESPN report, the team being adamant on declining all sign-and-trade options might not be as set in stone as initially reported.

Yet the Lakers also, according to sources, have not completely ruled out the idea of a sign-and-trade if they come to find next month that Howard is determined to leave. Sources say they are indeed leaning against sign-and-trade scenarios because they’d rather bank the resultant cap space from Howard’s departure for the summer of 2014. But sources say they’ve adopted a keep-all-options-open approach. So they’ll at least listen to just about anything.

We’ll see what the team ultimately ends up doing, but for not expect plenty more reports from sources and insiders and people close to the organization. And expect the news to change on a semi-daily basis.

Thus is life in the midst of Dwightmare: 2.0.

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