We began yesterday with a round-up of the latest Lakers rumors, and there's enough going on in Los Angeles lately that we're starting off today the same way. Here are the latest Lakers-related links:
- Besides asserting publicly that Dwight Howard won't be moved this month, the Lakers have also assured Howard privately that he won't be going anywhere, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
- The Lakers haven't asked Howard directly whether he plans to stay or go in free agency, but Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (within Broussard's piece) says the team is "very confident" that Howard will re-sign.
- The Hawks, Mavericks, and Rockets figure to make a play for Howard in free agency, but the Lakers will have the ability to offer D12 about $30MM more in guaranteed money, as I outlined here. According to Broussard's sources, that extra money means a lot to Howard, who may be less inclined to give up an extra year of security given his recent injury woes.
- Of the rival suitors for Howard, the Rockets may be the most dangerous, says Broussard. While Howard wasn't interested in going to Houston a year ago, he recognizes that the club is much improved since then.
- Speaking to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.com about his future, Howard said he's committed to the Lakers — for this season.
- Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are "very concerned" about the injury Pau Gasol suffered last night, writes Chris Mannix of SI.com, adding that the club needs Howard more than ever now.