Is It Time for LA Lakers to Slam Panic Button over Dwight Howard’s Free Agency?

If you follow the Los Angeles Lakers (or any sliver of the NBA, for that matter), you're probably curious as to whether or not Dwight Howard will be back in Purple and Gold next season.

As are the Lakers themselves.

According to Ramona Shelburne of, Howard has been chilling at his cabin in Lake Tahoe, Calif., trying to clear his head and think things over in anticipation of the biggest decision of his professional life. That has left everyone else to do the talking for him, anonymously and otherwise.

Per Ken Berger of, Howard is intrigued by the opportunities to play with James Harden's Houston Rockets and Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks, and he will entertain all offers that come his way.

There have also been whispers about friction between Howard and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, though general manager Mitch Kupchak doesn't seem to be too worried about that.

According to Dave McMenamin of, Kupchak said, "I think Dwight likes winning, he likes performing at a high level. I think he's fine with Mike D'Antoni, but I'm not really concerned if players like a coach, so I don't ask that question. Our coaches are evaluated by wins and losses."

Of course, the Lakers didn't do that much winning with D'Antoni this past season. L.A. went 40-32 with D'Antoni at the helm, but it did well to finish with a 28-12 record over its last 40 games and sneak its way into the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. This, despite injuries to just about every player of consequence, forcing D'Antoni to reshuffle his rotation from night to night.

But there appeared to be plenty of drama along the way. D'Antoni leaned much more heavily on the aging backcourt of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash for support, both in the locker room and in organizing on-court tactics.

Even though Dwight is purportedly the future of the franchise.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers