There's a crucial part of this proposed current trade deal that has to be broached. There will be no guaranteed contact extension by Dwight Howard. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the trade that would go through would only ensure Howard would be a Laker through the 2012-13 regular season. After that? Free agency in 2013.
ESPN source says Dwight definitely NOT doing extension with Lakers. Will test drive Lakerland for season and go to free agency in July 2013— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012
If L.A. does not work out for Dwight, says source briefed on his thinking, he knows "Dallas will be there for him." Mavs will have cap space— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 10, 2012
There's a good chance the Lakers are fairly confident they can convince Howard to stick around. After all, unless disastrous things occur, Los Angeles will be a title contender next season, and it'll be hard for Howard to pass up on the allure of playing in such favorable circumstances. It's a logical gamble for Mitch Kupchak to make to try and land the best big man and the largest defensive presence in the NBA.
Of course, this is Dwight Howard we're talking about, the man who makes Hamlet look like General Patton. He could very well lean in the other direction if he isn't satisfied with how well he's treated in L.A. The fact that the Dallas Mavericks still loom large for next season makes you think that he's interested in being the main superstar on one team, and that's one thing he'd never be on a Laker team with Kobe Bryant.
Talk about the Howard contract situation and the potential for free agency with Lakers fans over at Silver Screen and Roll.