The Lakers want to keep Howard happy so that he’ll re-sign after this season, when he can become a restricted free agent. Will Howard stay or go? The player tapped to take the reins of the franchise in the post-Kobe era won’t say.
The frustrated Gasol might be on his way out soon. And Bryant is under contract only through the 2013-14 season.
The promise this season once held for the Lakers has faded. The land of milk and sunny is now filled with angst, its hopes of a parade and banner No. 17 all but gone.
The Lakers are coming . . . but they’re not the team that was expected.
They’re a disaster in sneakers, fighting injuries, chemistry issues, and, most important, time. Which, for these Lakers, is quickly running out.