In his latest meeting with the press, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni looks set to restore Pau Gasol to his place in the starting five once has recovered from his concussion. According to reports from Los Angeles Times’ reporter Mike Bresnahan on Jan. 17, 2013, the Lakers are believed to be fending off potential trade rumors surrounding the veteran forward.
Apparently the Lakers are reluctant to take offers for Gasol as they fear that their potentially poor season could result in Dwight Howard going to free agency in the summer. Bresnaham claims:
The Lakers are reluctant to deal him because of the unthinkable — Dwight Howard leaving several months later as a free agent. They don't want to go from two quality 7-footers to none.
The summer acquisition of Howard led all to believe that the player was getting all he ever dreamed of in a massive potential contract extension as well as being in one of the NBA’s most exposed markets.
However, if the club finish their season is as bad of a debacle as it started there is a much larger chance that Howard could turn his back on the Lakers and test the market for a better move. With the Lakers struggling in the bottom half of the Western Conference, Howard leaving could be just another unthinkable situation for the team, much like their current place in the standings.
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