Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Lakers, Dwight Howard

If there's one thing we know for certain about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers and their free-agent big man Dwight Howard, it's that we know nothing at all.

Remember when this was rumored to be a two-team race for Superman between the Lakers and the young, state tax-less Houston Rockets? What was that, 10 rumors ago now?

As tough as it is to stay abreast of any juicy rumor in this day of the 24-hour news cycle, Howard's case has proven even more difficult to read. Whenever this many people have sources close to the situation saying this many drastically different things, a cynical view is typically the only one worth entertaining until the dotted line has been signed.

But the uncertainty here isn't just the byproduct of first news reports trumping accurate, verifiable ones. This has more to do with the less-than-forthcoming past of the two prime parties at play here.

There is no honesty bonus in the shrewd world of business, and the Lakers haven't carved out their place among the NBA's elite franchises by searching for one. If there's an advantage to be had in negotiations, L.A.'s going to attempt to exploit it at all costs.

And, really, why shouldn't it? It's not the Lakers' responsibility to carry transparent objectives or to look beyond any interest other than their own. The front office's sole focus is putting the organization in the best possible position to win today and tomorrow, and because these are the people raking in generous salaries to make those decisions, they are the only ones who need to be able to track their collective thought process.

Sure, it's not a strategy that will always endear itself to the outside world. In fact, the opposite is the case more often than not.

Sometimes that means cutting ties with an aging point guard (Derek Fisher, who helped bring the organization five championships during his 11-plus-year tenure) without consulting that p...

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