From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll:The Los Angeles Lakers remain confident that Dwight Howard will re-sign with the franchise this Summer and have had “several discussions” with Howard’s representatives, according to the latest update from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. The Lakers may a handful of sign-and-trade options on the table this Summer if their confidence is misplaced, however, including an offer involving Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets. Howard is expected to give the Rockets serious consideration this Summer and Houston has assets to offer Los Angeles, but the Lakers are expected to turn away sign-and-trade offers in favor of maintaining financial flexibility from 2014 and onward, according to Shelburne and Stein.
From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: When the reports started flying of a possible deal that would net the Clippers Kevin Garnett and head coach Doc Rivers from the Celtics, Dwight Howard‘s name got thrown in the mix at some point as someone that L.A.’s historically junior team would then like to pursue. Talks have stalled between the Celtics and Clippers for now, but the report that the Clips have weighed offering Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade package for Howard had plenty of people wondering where the Lakers stand on potential scenarios involving Dwight should he decide he wants out of the Forum blue and gold as a free agent after July 1.
From Gabriel Lee, Lakers Nation: Time for a quick survey – raise your hand if you thought the Lakers would be a force to be reckoned with upon acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Vegas sure did, as they had the Lakers at 5:2 odds to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in October. Keep your hand raised if you now think after one sub-par season, the Lakers need to press the reset button on this aging and brittle roster. I should see a lot of (virtual) hands up. That’s just the nature of sports in the 21st century. Few fans have the patience to wait for their favorite sports team to mesh when everything else in their lives is given to them in a nano-second. You can technically reach anyone in the world in an instant through a text message (although, standard message rates may apply). We consume the news instantly through our Twitter feeds. I could go on for days to list the ways technology has accelerated the process of globalization. However, we’re here to talk about the Lakers.
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Phil Jackson coached Shaquille O’Neal with theLakers. In his playing days, Jackson was occasionally charged with guarding Wilt Chamberlain. Jackson compared the two legendary centers Wednesday night in Glendale at the Alex Theatreat his “Live Talks Los Angeles” event. “Shaquille didn’t have quite the same athleticism that Wilt had,” said Jackson. “He had the bounce and he had the speed, but he didn’t have the endurance.” As detailed in his memoir, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” Jackson told O’Neal that Chamberlain’s greatest accomplishment came in the 1961-62 season when he averaged 48.5 minutes a game. Jackson challenged O’Neal in their first season together (1999-2000) to get in better physical condition to improve his endurance.
From Zach Harper, CBS Sports: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is approaching the end of his career. He’s been in the NBA 17 seasons, will be 35 when he plays his next game, and is rehabbing a torn Achillestendon injury that could either keep him from playing in the 2013-14 season opener or possibly limit his play altogether when he does come back. It’s hard to know just how his body will respond to the hard work and the injury recovery. But don’t think that Kobe Bryant is even thinking about hanging it up any time soon. He’s intent on not only coming back at full strength or better from this Achilles injury, but he reportedly has his mind set on playing until he has won at least two more championships to put his career total at seven rings. Via ESPN Los Angeles: