Rumors: Dwight Howard is the future of the Lakers

Once again, Los Angeles Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak reiterated his desire to keep Dwight Howard in Los Angeles.  He addressed increasing trade rumors surrounding the struggling center.  Kupchak said the team has no intentions of trading Howard.  But the rumors will persist.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles says the team is "hitching their wagon" to Howard.  They understand everything that has gone wrong, but the team feels Howard can be their future.  Kupchak alluded tot he idea that Howard could take over the team once Kobe Bryant is gone.

Kobe Bryanthas one more year on his deal [this year, plus one]. That's all I can bank on or this organization can bank on. I have no idea if he wants to continue to play beyond next year. As of now, we're looking at a two-year window, [and that] plays to the urgency of the situation and how we build the team. ... This team's window to win is this year and next year."

Howard has battled through injuries for most of this season, but he has also been knocked for a lack of hustle and desire.  He is often characterized as lackadaisical and immature.  However, he can certainly impact a game.

Howard has averaged 18.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game in his career.  This season, he is still averaging 16.4 points and 11.8 rebounds with a back that is not 100 percent and a torn shoulder.  

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