August 10, 2012; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) stands next to general manager Mitch Kupchak during a press conference to introduce three-time Defensive Player who they acquired in a four-team trade from the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers' GM: Dwight Howard Will "Not Return"

It’s finally over.

The Los Angeles Lakers have released a statement by general manager Mitch Kupchak, who says that Dwight Howard will not be back with the team.

“We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great lakers [sic] fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.”

A whirlwind of action happened on Friday night, beginning with multiple teams being informed that they were out of the running. Then USA Today and ESPN reported that Howard to the Houston Rockets was a done deal.

Later on, Alex Kennedy of USA Today began with reports of Howard re-thinking his decision, mainly because it was hard to leave $30 million on the table.

Who can blame him, that’s a lot of cash.

With reports then saying that Howard was going to meet with Kupchak (UPDATE: Howard didn’t actually meet face-to-face with Kupchak, via Dave McMenamin), the superstar center finally made up his mind and would end up deciding on the Rockets after all.

What does the move mean for the Lakers? What does the move mean for the Rockets? The discussion will go on throughout the weekend and the rest of the offseason.

Tags: Dwight Howard Houston Rockets Los Angeles Lakers Mitch Kupchak

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