Friday, February 15, 2013
D12's trade, free-agent value
By Tom Carpenter
Dwight Howard told reporters on Friday that he has been told by the Los Angeles Lakers brass that he will not be dealt prior to next week's trade deadline.
"Dwight Howard says Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has told him definitively he will not be traded before Feb. 21 deadline," tweeted CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
Of course, that doesn't mean that D12 will not be traded, as the right offer from some team could convince the Lakers to ship him. Still, considering his shoulder and back issues, as well as the fact that a team acquiring him presumably would demand assurances from Howard that he would sign a long-term deal as a free agent this offseason, trading him now unlikely anyway.
Despite those issues, ESPN NBA Insider Kevin Pelton doesn't expect Howard's free-agent value to be diminished this summer:
Kevin PeltonTop NBA free agents of 2013
"When we looked ahead to what was then the free agent class of 2012 two years ago, Howard ranked ahead of Paul. An injury-hampered season in L.A. has knocked him down to No. 2. Of course, Howard is still an obvious max player no matter the concerns about his back, shoulder and inconsistent effort level."