Pros and Cons of Los Angeles Lakers Committing to Dwight Howard Long-Term

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Pros and Cons of Los Angeles Lakers Committing to Dwight Howard Long-Term
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

For Dwight Howard, every day is a new day and a chance to right the wrongs that may have preceded it.

Just hours before the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center, Howard took to Twitter to let his nearly four million followers know, "Today is a new day. Even if u were wrong yesterday you can get it right today."

The Los Angeles Lakers center has performed admirably in his first season with the Purple and Gold. He averages 16.1 points and 12 rebounds per game, the latter stat leading the NBA. Sunday night against the Hawks, Howard brought down 15 boards in the Lakers' thrilling one-point win.

But in this town, admirable often doesn't cut it.

Fans expect the next Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Shaquille O'Neal. The city yearns for championships and a dominant center who will lead the Lakers to the promised land. The team pinned its hopes and dreams this year on Howard, and the verdict has yet to be handed down.

It was just over a month ago that the Lakers hit rock bottom and found themselves an embarrassing eight games below .500. Pundits and critics voiced their displeasure with Howard, who continued to deal with various injuries and appeared lackadaisical at times.

There was much chatter about trading Howard before the February 21 trade deadline, but nothing came of it.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak went on the air (The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio, via ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin) the day before the deadline to dispel any such notion that the team wanted to deal Howard, stating, "Dwight is our future. ... We're not trading Dwight Howard."

There are pros and cons to signing Howard to a long-term deal. But as he continues to heal and the Lakers keep improving, it seems the positives far outweigh the negatives.

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