Despite assurances from the Los Angeles Lakers to Dwight Howard that they would not trade him, rival executives still believe he could be traded by the Lakers before the trade deadline passes, reports Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld
Even though Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has assured Howard that he won’t be traded before the Feb. 21 deadline, rival executives believe the 27-year-old may still be moved. The Lakers have fielded calls for Howard and are keeping their options open. Multiple league sources believe that Kupchak is assuring Howard that he won’t traded just in case the team decides not to pull the trigger on a deal.
Mitch Kupchak shot down rumors that he had exploratory negotiations with the Boston Celtics, and since then there haven't been any significant teams linked to Dwight. However, Ken Berger has reported that several teams in the league believe that the Atlanta Hawks could make a deadline push to land Howard. Kennedy also elaborated on why his sources believe the Lakers may consider trading Howard before the deadline passes.
While the Lakers have shot down some rumors involving Howard – such as the rumored deal for Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics – nobody around the league would be surprised if a Howard trade gets completed before 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Lakers understand that Howard is unhappy in Los Angeles – he has butted heads with Kobe Bryant, grown tired of Mike D’Antoni and felt that the organization hasn’t supported him at times – which is why a Howard deal can’t be ruled out. Sources say that Howard hasn’t asked for a trade and doesn’t plan to do so, but he wouldn’t be opposed to a deal.
Plenty of smoke right now, but it's hard to tell if there's any fire to it. We'll know soon enough.
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