(EL SEGUNDO, Calif.) — In less than three days NBA free agency begins, and the Los Angeles Lakers are confident they’ll be able to re-sign All-Star center Dwight Howard.
“I think the word I’ve used is ‘optimistic,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “I understand that there’s a possibility (Howard) won’t (re-sign), and I probably don’t have any more information than anybody in this room does. I’m aware of a lot of the stuff that’s flying back a forth, a lot of rumors, so there’s a realistic possibility that he won’t be back. But I’m optimistic he will.”
On Thursday, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that the Lakers had “very little chance” to re-sign him.
Howard’s lone season in Los Angeles was a disappointment on multiple fronts. The team made the playoffs, but were swept out of the first round by the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers were expected to challenge for a title, instead they looked like a team that couldn’t keep it all together.
And for Howard, he still led the NBA in rebounding, but he put up sub-par numbers compared to what fans are used to seeing from him.
During the 2012-2013 season, Howard averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.
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Jill Martin, CNN