Dwight Howard Would Be Smart to Consider All Options This Offseason

Dead in the water during their first-round playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs, the offseason has already begun for the Los Angeles Lakers—they just don't know it yet. 

And while the 2012-13 season has been one of the most trying in franchise history—ripe with unceremonious firings, in-fighting and crippling injuries—the offseason may be even more dysfunctional. 

Not only does the team have to worry about the uncertain future of Kobe Bryant, but also Dwight Howard's contract situation that continues to linger. If Bryant's Achilles injury is like a heartbreaking earthquake that shatters the foundation of your home, Howard departing would be the bulldozer that plows the entire thing down. 

Last we heard, the future looked promising for Howard coming back long-term. USA Today's Sam Amick reported that two sources close to the situation said Howard was planning to re-sign with the Lakers, his eventual visits to other teams a mere formality.

However, the source himself continues to be coy about his future. When asked Saturday about his offseason plans, the Lakers center evaded the question. 

"I haven't thought about it," Howard said (via ESPN's Dave McMenamin). 

We'll steer clear of accusations about the truthfulness of that statement—libel suits being something I don't like—it's safe to say plenty of others within his camp have given Howard's move some careful thought. And if they're smart, his camp won't stop thinking until it's weighed the risk of every possible outcome. 

If we're playing NBA 2K13, Howard re-signs with the Lakers and doesn't even give it a second thought. Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol all are on the payroll for next season. Those names alone had many pointing to the Lakers as an NBA championship contender when Howard was first acquired. How could you go wrong with four Hall of Famers?

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