Lakers will not trade Dwight Howard

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has told Dwight Howard he will not be traded before the Feb. 21 trade deadline, according to league sources.

Kupchak recently told Newsday the same thing, saying: “We will not trade Dwight Howard.” Sources say Kupchak has told Howard several times that he has no intention of trading him.

There have been rumblings for the past month that the Lakers are considering moving Howard out of fear that he might leave as a free agent after the season. Despite their concerns, the Lakers have not directly asked Howard whether he plans to stay or go in free agency, according to sources.

Sources have told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that the Lakers are “very confident” Howard will remain with the team this summer.

Howard has steadfastly refused to reveal his plans for this summer, and sources say he truly does not know what he will do. The sources add that he definitely will not ask to be traded.

– Reported by Chris Broussard of ESPN.com