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Mitch Kupchak reiterates that Dwight Howard will not be traded

February 19, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak says that despite the rumors circulating that Dwight Howard could be on the trading block the team has no intention of parting ways with the center.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak says that despite the rumors circulating… (Danny Moloshok / Associated…)

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak reiterated Tuesday that he will not trade Dwight Howard.

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday. Given the Lakers' struggles this season (25-29), Howard's name is popular on the rumor mill.

"It's unlikely that there will be an upgrade in the talent of this team. I just don't see how that's realistic," Kupchak said. "We'll continue to be on the phones and make calls, take calls and listen, but don't anticipate anything dramatic taking place in the next two days."

So is he still not trading Howard?

"That would be correct," said Kupchak.

Howard is in the final year of his contract. The Lakers can offer him the biggest contract this summer but there's no guarantee he accepts.

The Lakers have struggled to avoid injuries most of the season. Pau Gasol is expected to be out for at least one more month with a torn plantar fascia. Jordan Hill is out for the season.

The team has a payroll bordering on $100 million with an expected $30 million in luxury taxes.

Is there anything in the works?

"Nothing major but it's early yet," said Kupchak.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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