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Lakers 'Optimistic' They Can Re-Sign Dwight Howard

NBA via Los Angeles Lakers(EL SEGUNDO, Calif.) -- In less than three days NBA free agency begins, and the Los Angeles Lakers are confident they'll be able to re-sign All-Star center Dwight Howard.

"I think the word I've used is 'optimistic,'' general manager Mitch Kupchak said. "I understand that there's a possibility (Howard) won't (re-sign), and I probably don't have any more information than anybody in this room does. I'm aware of a lot of the stuff that's flying back a forth, a lot of rumors, so there's a realistic possibility that he won't be back. But I'm optimistic he will."

On Thursday, ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Lakers had "very little chance" to re-sign him.

Howard's lone season in Los Angeles was a disappointment on multiple fronts. The team made the playoffs, but were swept out of the first round by the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers were expected to challenge for a title, instead they looked like a team that couldn't keep it all together.

And for Howard, he still led the NBA in rebounding, but he put up sub-par numbers compared to what fans are used to seeing from him.

During the 2012-2013 season, Howard averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.

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