It looks like the Los Angeles Lakers are about to lose on a huge gamble.
One of the league’s premiere franchises traded for Dwight Howard prior to the 2012-13 season with the explicit understanding that the big man only had one year left on his contract.
The Lakers were confident they would be able to sign Howard to a long-term deal. However, on Thursday, sources told ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard that the team is unlikely to ink him to a new deal.
THIS JUST IN: Dwight Howard is unlikely to re-sign with Lakers this offseason, sources close to the situation tell ESPN’s @Chris_Broussard.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 27, 2013
Howard’s will-he-or-won’t-he saga with the team that drafted him, the Orlando Magic, concluded in the aforementioned trade across the country. He spent seven years in the Sunshine State before struggling through his first in Hollywood.
A large portion of Howard’s disappointing year for the Lakers has been attributed to back surgery he went through prior to last season’s tip-off. He is expected to be at or at least near 100-percent for whichever team manages to win the latest round of the player known as Superman Sweepstakes.
Howard averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds in 35.8 minutes per game last year. Though he earned another All-Star game start this past season, all three numbers are below his career marks of 18.3, 12.9 and 36.1, respectively.