Kobe tweets he wants Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol back

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Howard, Gasol, Kobe.   (Getty Images) Kobe wants Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard to return. (Getty Images)

During the playoffs, he was Coach Kobe for a game. And now, he's General Manager Kobe.

The Lakers have an offseason ahead of them that's full of questions. Dwight Howard is (finally) an unrestricted free agent. Pau Gasol seems to be a logical candidate for trade discussions. And in general, the team is kind of old.

What do they do, especially with Howard and Gasol? To be determined, but Kobe Bryant is making sure his opinion on the matter is heard. He wants to both Howard and Gasol back.

It's likely the Lakers will offer Howard a five-year max, seeing as they gave up quite a bit to get him in a trade. Howard may choose to go elsewhere, but the Lakers didn't deal for him without the long-term in mind.

But Howard reportedly has been frustrated with Mike D'Antoni and has had rumored clashes with Kobe as well. Nothing new when it comes to Howard, though, as he's basically the king of organizational drama.

Gasol is on the hook for just one more season and $19 million. He's perpetually been on the trading block, but there's also been talk of him being amnestied, which isn't likely. The Lakers, though, could be looking at a $100 million payroll next season, which is the first season for the new escalating luxury tax. So the Lakers could be looking at paying an $80-85 million tax bill if they bring everyone back.

That kind of stuff doesn't matter to Kobe, though. He's in the game to win, and he thinks the Lakers as currently constructed well enough to do it. Apparently. Because he wants the same team back that went 45-37 and barely scraped into the playoffs.

 
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