More details are coming out about what Dwight Howard is thinking about staying in Los Angeles, and they aren't good.
After the Lakers' exit interviews, Howard reportedly asked for a second meeting with just Mitch Kupchak, not Mike D'Antoni. He wasn't the only player to do so either.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:
“According to sources with knowledge of the situation, part of the discussion between Howard and Kupchak centered around Howard's frustration with D'Antoni -- particularly how the center felt marginalized as the coach looked to Bryant and Steve Nash for leadership and suggestions and discounted Howard's voice.
Every player was afforded the opportunity to meet with Kupchak individually after D'Antoni left the room, but few spent as much time as Howard and Kupchak did together.”
If there is anyone who can get D'Antoni fired, it's Howard if keeping the coach means the center will sign elsewhere.
Howard is also reportedly looking closely at the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, though the Lakers can offer him a bigger contract than any other team of $118 million.
There's no doubt that Howard was underused last season because of the fast-paced, shoot-first D'Antoni system. It in no way plays to Howard's strengths, and why it took the coach so long to see that is beyond me.
Kobe is trying to get him to stay and tweeted:
It's almost a definite thing that Howard will test free agency to see what's out there, but you honestly can't blame him for not wanting to come back to a team where he's being underutilized when he could be a superstar elsewhere.