Dwight Howard's unhappiness with his role in coach Mike D'Antoni's offense may eventually force the Los Angeles Lakers to explore trading the All-Star center, ESPNLosAngeles.com reported Tuesday.
The website, citing anonymous sources, reported that Howard has recently hinted at his dissatisfaction as well as the possibly not re-signing with the Lakers in the offseason.
Dwight Howard trade rumors: The Lakers may need to unload their All-Star center if he remains unhappy with his situation in LA. (AP Photo)
ESPNLosAngeles.com reported that the Lakers have rejected trade inquiries about Howard and are reluctant to make any major moves before the NBA's Feb. 21 trade deadline. LA management, in particular VP Jim Buss, believes it can "make a great argument" to convince Howard to stay, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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Howard told reporters after the Lakers' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday that the team needs to play "inside-out," an indication that he believes he isn't getting the ball enough. Howard had five field-goal attempts in 30 minutes against Chicago.
"There's nothing I can do," Howard was quoted as saying. "Just continue to play. Not get frustrated. As hard as it is, I can't get frustrated."
Star guard Kobe Bryant said Monday that he has passed up shots to accommodate Howard.
"I've tried to go out of my way to get (Howard) the ball," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. "Sometimes I end up looking like an idiot, because I get up in the air, I've got a shot, but I try to find him. But he thinks I'm going to shoot, so his back is turned. I'm trying to think about getting him the ball a lot—take care of him as much as I possibly can. It takes me out of rhythm a little bit, but I'm fine with that. If that's going to help our team, I'm more than willing to do that."
Bryant was less subtle than Howard in assessing the offense.
"Obviously, this isn't working," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. "We need to go back to basics. We need to put guys in positions to do what they do best. We need to strip it down. (Point guard) Steve (Nash) is best in pick-and-roll. (Forward) Pau (Gasol) is best in the post. I'm best from the free-throw line extended down. Let's go back to basics."
LA is 17-24 at the midpoint of its season and 12th in the Western Conference.