Yesterday, it was reported that Dwight Howard's camp informed the Lakers that the center would opt out of his contract and test free agency if he is traded to Los Angeles. Howard, according to sources, also might be skittish about the idea of following Shaquille O'Neal's footprints with a move from Orlando to L.A. Meanwhile, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes that the Lakers are still among the center's finalists, along with the Nets and Mavericks. We'll keep track of all of today's news on Howard right here..
- Kobe Bryant told Dwight Howard he envisions the big man playing a Tyson Chandler-like third-fiddle role behind himself and Pau Gasol, a source tells Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM. Rudolph reiterated reports that Howard has told the Lakers he won't sign an extension with them if he's dealt to the team.
- A source close to Howard told Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) that Bryant is the reason why the 26-year-old is leaning away from the Lakers. "Kobe messed it up. That's all I can say for now," the source told Kennedy.