dwight howard

Despite all that has gone wrong in Dwight Howard’s first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, general manager Mitch Kupchak says the team is still hitching its wagon to the All-Star center.

“Dwight is our future,” Kupchak told “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on ESPN Radio on Wednesday. “Kobe [Bryant] has one more year on his deal [this year, plus one]. That’s all I can bank on or this organization can bank on. I have no idea if he wants to continue to play beyond next year. As of now, we’re looking at a two-year window, [and that] plays to the urgency of the situation and how we build the team. … This team’s window to win is this year and next year.”

Kupchak reiterated his public stance that the 27-year old Howard is off the market with the NBA trade deadline looming Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

“We’ve been very consistent,” Kupchak said. “We’re not trading Dwight Howard. … He will not be traded and there’s nothing that anybody can do today to call me today and ask me, ‘Would you do this?’ and get a positive result.”

Kupchak called Howard the best center in the league and expressed how difficult it is to acquire talent like that, especially with the restrictions in place since the league’s new collective bargaining agreement was ratified.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles