Why a Championship in 2013 Would Guarantee Dwight Howard Remains with Lakers

Stephen FenechCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2012

EL SEGUNDO, CA - AUGUST 10:  Dwight Howard (L) is introduced to the media as the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers by General Manager Mitch Kupchak during a news conference at the Toyota Sports Center on August 10, 2012 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers aquired Howard from Orlando Magic in a four-team trade. In addition, Lakers wil receive Chris Duhon and Earl Clark from the Magic.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are among the favorites to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy in 2013, an accomplishment that would keep Dwight Howard in purple and gold for the foreseeable future. 

The question must be asked, why would Howard want to leave Los Angeles when his contract expires if he already has a title under his belt?

The Lakers will be able to offer him significantly more money than any other team in the NBA, while keeping him in one of the league's biggest markets.

It isn't news that Howard has wanted to be in a bigger market for the last few years, so why would he want to leave one now that he has finally gotten there?

I know some of Dwight's actions in the past year have been suspect, but leaving Los Angeles would be more surprising than any of them.

The only option that figures to entice him in any way would be with the Dallas Mavericks, who couldn't offer him more than the Lakers could on any level.

Kobe Bryant figures to play in the NBA as long as Dirk Nowitzki, and is still the better overall player. 

If you had to pick between Bryant and Nowitzki, who would you pick?

I'd take Kobe in a second, especially when you consider that Pau Gasol has a handful of productive years left in him as well.

Steve Nash may be 38 years old, but the thought of him being productive for the next three years isn't that far-fetched considering how he played in 2012.

The Lakers organization is among the best at reloading rather than rebuilding. If that statement needs any backing, just look at this offseason and at the Gasol trade in 2008.

At each point, the team's championship window appeared to be almost closed only to be thrown open by ingenious moves.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak knows how to build a championship winning team in Los Angeles and has proven it in the past.  

It isn't as if the Lakers will be asking Dwight to sign a new long-term contract under new, unproven management. 

Nor is he in a position where he dislikes his new city.  

Howard has been in the Los Angeles area for months, perhaps for reasons other than his back rehabilitation. That isn't to say that Howard's back injury wasn't serious, rather that he has found a comfortable niche in Hollywood that he has no intention of leaving in the near future.

Think about it like this, what other option could be more attractive than the Lakers for Howard? 

Take your time thinking, but there isn't one. 

There will be a day when Kobe decides to hang it up, and on that day Howard will become the new cornerstone of one of the two most decorated franchises in NBA history. 

That sounds like a pretty good deal.

A deal that even the irresolute Howard won't think about for too long before accepting.

Winning will repair Howard's shattered image quicker than any other remedy, and his best opportunity to win is with a franchise that has seen so many legendary centers suit up in purple and gold.