The Los Angeles Lakers' struggles this season are well-documented. They have a new team that looks on paper like it should compete with anyone, but injuries and an inability to adjust have left the team on the outside looking in. For them to make the playoffs at this point, the team would have to go on a magical second-half run. But will they have to do it without Dwight Howard?
David Baumann of ESPN 1500 asked Stan Van Gundy if Howard would be in a Lakers' uniform next year.
"That's going to be an interesting thing," Van Gundy said. "I think they will keep him for the rest of the year. I think they still think they've got a lot to offer and can re-sign him. So, I think he'll be there for the rest of the year, but I think it's '50-50' or maybe even worse odds for the Lakers that they can retain him at the end of the year and if they realize that, you could see them make a move at the trading deadline."Howard is not 100 percent this season. He wasn't when the season started, he wasn't as he got used to playing in Los Angeles, and he certainly isn't now as he battled a torn labrum in his shoulder. Howard's health is a main reason why the superstar center is not performing up to expectations. But very few on the Lakers' roster are.
Los Angeles is 18-26, in 10th place in the Western Conference standings, 16 games back of first place, and 4 1/2 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot. They only have Howard for this season, so the team needs to work out a trade or an extension, and the trade deadline is fast-approaching.