Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/4/13
In an interview with Newsday,Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak used strongwords to quash any trade rumors."We will not make a trade," said Kupchak."We will nottrade Dwight Howard.We have no intentionof making a trade. It's unlikely that we'll make any trade with any ofour principal players. To make another change at this time of the yearbehind the eight-ball like we are, I think that would make it moredifficult.The talent is there.We have to find our way."Howard is in the final year of his contract but as Kupchak notes, the Lakershave no plans to move him.The Lakers (22-26) have struggled this season, both with injuries andchemistry, but are still just 3 games out of eighth place. The team hasrecently won five of its last six.The long-term goal for the Lakers is to keep Howard beyond the currentseason.Head coach Mike D'Antoni hasstruggled to integrate Pau Gasol and Howard on the floortogether.Gasol is under contract for 19 million this season and 19.3 million thefollowing year.The Lakers will be looking at significant luxury taxes,especially next season when the tax rate increases exponentially.It would appear that Gasol too is safe from trade, according to Kupchak. TheLakers general manager also gave a word of support to the Lakers coach."We're very happy with Mike D'Antoni," Kupchak said. "I thinkwhen he took the job I think he thought Nash fractured left leg might be outa week or two. Not two months. Getting everybody on the same page took a littlelonger than expected. Not to say it's been smooth sailing, that's for sure.-Eric Pincus
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Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

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