Dwight Howard's Early-Season Success with Lakers Shows D12 Will Re-Sign

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2012

November 30, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) controls the ball against the defense of Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Lakers have seen a lot from Dwight Howard in the first month of the season, but it's easy to call it a moderate success so far. That, combined with the fact that he's seen such a turnaround in attitude, has to point to Howard re-signing with the Lakers after the season.

Howard has spent the first month of the 2012-13 NBA season dealing with a not fully-rehabilitated back, and he's been more or less successful.

He's had his down games, putting up just seven points and four rebounds against the Memphis Grizzlies, along with six-points and eight rebounds against the Golden State Warriors

But he really hasn't missed too much of a beat when you factor in that his back was cut open and worked on at the end of last Spring.

With an average of 18.5 points and 11 rebounds per game, Howard is right in line with his career averages. What's more impressive is that he's shooting 61 percent and blocking nearly three shots per game.

There's a lot we've seen that he can fix with this Lakers team, which makes it seem as if he's going to be able to improve as the season goes along.  H will get healthier and develop more chemistry with the team.

After Howard dealt with his departure from the Orlando Magic in such an immature fashion, repeatedly demanding a trade to the then-New Jersey Nets, it was easy to think that he would be on the move in the Summer of 2013 if he ended up anywhere other than Brooklyn.

However, he's been singing a different tune lately and he seems to genuinely be the person that he was before the nastiness of a season ago.

In other words, it's a lot easier to believe what he says.

The most recent line of questioning surrounding Howard's departure from Orlando last season brought a lot of the same old answers. He didn't handle everything the right way, he still considers Orlando his home, he's got a lot of love for the Magic fans, yadda, yadda, yadda.

However, there were a few new developments that came up that are worth mentioning.

Howard's intent to stay in Los Angeles was questionable and his response should be of some relief to Lakers fans. He was asked how likely he was to stay, and it seems like he's rather enjoying his time in L.A.:

From one to 10? I'd give it a good 12. I love it. It's been a lot of fun. Just everything here, from the practices, the motivation of everybody here is championship, that's what we need.

Honestly, what's not to like about the situation he's in with the Lakers?

He gets to continue to play second banana behind Kobe Bryant until he learns how to lead a team, plus he's surrounded by a handful of legitimately great players on a team that's not afraid to spend money.

Moving forward, there are few teams in the league that have a chance to win an NBA Championship year-in and year-out quite like the Lakers. They're well-run when it comes to player development and forming a team, and everyone in the front office is only interested in winning titles.

There don't seem to be many options out there that would suit Howard quite as well, so leaving Los Angeles does seem to be a long-shot at this point.

Howard's best shot at winning titles and becoming a legendary player is with the Lakers, and he's already taking the first step in the right direction. There's no reason to screw that up by leaving after this season.