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Lakers are confident Dwight will stay, would prefer cap space to sign-and-trade, according to report

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The Lakers remain confident that Dwight Howard will return but will have sign-and-trade options on the table.

USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers remain confident that Dwight Howard will re-sign with the franchise this Summer and have had "several discussions" with Howard's representatives, according to the latest update from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The Lakers may a handful of sign-and-trade options on the table this Summer if their confidence is misplaced, however, including an offer involving Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets. Howard is expected to give the Rockets serious consideration this Summer and Houston has assets to offer Los Angeles, but the Lakers are expected to turn away sign-and-trade offers in favor of maintaining financial flexibility from 2014 and onward, according to Shelburne and Stein.

More on Dwight's free agency: Howard and Paul want to play together

This update comes on the heels of a report that the Los Angeles Clippers could offer Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe to the Lakers for Howard in a sign-and-trade scenario. Reports that the Lakers will not consider doing business with the Clippers may be "overblown", and should the Clippers make an offer of Griffin and Bledsoe, it's unlikely that the Lakers will outright dismiss engaging in trade talks, reports Shelburne.

Scenarios continue to sprout for Howard and the Lakers as July 1 draws near.

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @DrewGarrisonSBN