Dwight Howard's Former Teammate Believes He'll Re-Sign With Lakers

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates in the final seconds of the game with the New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center on January 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. . The Lakers won 111-106.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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If Rashard Lewis knows his former teammate, Dwight Howard, the star center will be making Los Angeles his home for the 2014 season, and beyond. 

According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida, Lewis believes that Howard will re-sign with the Lakers for the long haul this offseason. Howard is set to be a free agent at the end of the 2013 season. Lewis told Fox Sports Florida:

I think he will be in L.A. … He most definitely likes the city, likes the organization. It’s one of the first-class organizations. The Lakers have a history of winning championships, and that’s what he wants to do is win championships. So we’ll see what happens at the end of the season, but my gut feeling is I think he’ll stay there.

Lewis is now a member of the Miami Heat, but was a teammate of Howard's for four years when the two played for the Orlando Magic. 

The Lakers made headlines when they acquired the perennial all-star center in August of 2012, despite the fact they couldn't get a guarantee from Howard that he would sign with the organization long-term. At the time, it appeared the move would make the Lakers an automatic title contender, but that hasn't been the case. 

The Lakers are just barely below .500 nearing the mid-way point of the season and Howard has struggled to stay healthy. 

In 45 games this season, the big man is putting up 16.2 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game and 2.4 blocks. All while shooting 57 percent from the floor. 

Despite the mediocrity this season, it would appear that Howard is interested in becoming the cornerstone of the Lakers franchise for years to come. As Kobe Bryant continues to age, Howard should become the building block for the franchises future plans. 

After a disappointing start to this season, the fact that the Lakers could still retain the big man has to be good news for Lakers fans.