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Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak: ‘We Will Not Trade Dwight Howard’

Any notion that the Los Angeles Lakers will trade all-star center Dwight Howard should end, according to general manager, Mitch Kupchak, the man who would make the deal.

“We will not make a trade. We will not trade Dwight Howard,” Kuchak told Newsday in New York. “We have no intention of making a trade. It’s unlikely that we’ll make any trade with any of our principal players. To make another change at this time of the year, being behind the eight-ball like we are, I think that would just make it more difficult. The talent is there. We have to find our way.”

Meanwhile, Howard missed the Laker’s win at Detroit Sunday with a shoulder injury that was re-injured Friday night.

“I don’t want to sit out — period,” Howard said to the Los Angeles Times. “I know how important I can be to our team’s success, but at the same time I don’t want what happened last year to happen again.

“I played with a sore back as long as I could. I did everything, cracked it, popped it, had acupuncture, whatever to keep playing and I ended up hurting it really bad.

“I don’t want that to happen to my shoulder.”

Howard returned to Los Angeles to have blood removed from each arm, spun around a little, as he said, and then had his own blood injected into the front of the shoulder in the hopes of reaching the pain in the rear of his shoulder.

To dig themselves out of the hole they created, the Lakers will need everyone, including a healthy Howard, whose inside defensive presence is invaluable. Without him in the middle, Los Angeles has no shot-blocking factor and becomes vulnerable inside, even against smaller teams.

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