NBA Rumors: Dwight Howard to Ditch Kobe Bryant, Lakers After One Year?

| by Alex Groberman

After going through so much trouble to acquire him, could the Los Angeles Lakers really lose Dwight Howard next summer? The odds are against it, however, as of now, Howard hasn’t -- and apparently won’t -- completely reject the notion of ditching Kobe Bryant and the gang in 2013.

You’ll recall, when rumors of Dwight to L.A. first began heating up, the one sticking point for Mitch Kupchak and company was Howard’s inexplicable refusal to commit to signing a long-term extension.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that it is far more financially lucrative for Howard to play out his current deal before re-signing, but that’s not what folks mean when they talk about signing an extension. Everyone knows that signing a smaller deal when you can get a bigger one is stupid. What folks mean when they say “sign an extension” is for Howard to commit to waiting for the current deal to expire, and then signing a big, multi-year one with the Lakers after that.

Unfortunately, Howard still refuses to commit. During a recent interview with Joe McDonnell of Fox Sports, the Lakers’ new center once again said that he would weigh his options at the end of next season before agreeing to sign a long-term deal with any one squad.

"I think the best thing to do is talk about it at the end of the year," Howard said. "We just went through that last season, basically, and I don't want to go through it again or see anyone have to go through it.”

Not exactly the yeah, I’m definitely staying that purple and gold faithful were hoping for. Then again, given his flip-flopping over the past year, it’s questionable how much a committal from Howard is even worth anymore.

In that same interview, Howard did say that he hoped to end up with the Lakers. 

"This is going to be my decision, and I'm going to wait till the end of the year. But I'm happy to be in L.A. This is a great place. I love the coaching staff and I love the organization for everything they've done for me since I got traded here.

"Hopefully I'll have a long career here in L.A."

Yup, hopefully.

(Kudos Fox Sports)

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