Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/26/13
Suitors or beggars? With Dwight Howard’s pending free agency set to begin at midnight ET on July 1, the Los Angeles Lakers launched a campaign with the placement of a banner on the side of Staples Center, and a billboard on Hollywood Boulevard.  The message on each is simple, “Stay #D12″. The Lakers have made no qualms about their desire to re-sign Howard and perhaps the organization viewed this as another opportunity to once again publicly express their sentiment for him. Dwight Howard billboard above Hollywood Blvd. (photo credit: Lakers official Twitter account) With the advancement of social media and players’ desires to be courted like kings (a la LeBron James), such a campaign isn’t all that surprising.  However, for a team that has won 16 championships and has such a rich tradition, is this a necessary action?  No. Not when considering the player being wooed has zero championship rings, reportedly only wanted to be a traded to the Brooklyn Nets, and has shown signs of commitment issues.  Plus, the Lakers are the only team who can offer Howard a five-year contract worth $118 million.  All offers from other teams max out at four years and $87.6 million. By no means are the Lakers a better team without Howard, but by the same token, they should not allow him to hold them at his mercy.  If Howard has any issues in succeeding the legacies set by Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal, then he should feel free to sign elsewhere. It is a privilege to wear purple and gold, not a right.  The fans demand dedication, excellence, and championships.  It is what they have been afforded under the leadership of the Buss family. Whether Howard has the desire and mental toughness necessary to succeed in Los Angeles remains to be seen.  Regardless of the outcome, let’s hope for a speedy decision. Roster update To no surprise, Metta World Peace exercised his player option for the 2013-2014 season and he is set to earn $7.7 million in the final year of his five-year contract. There had been some hope he would opt out and perhaps sign with the Lakers for less of an annual salary, but with more years.  By opting-in, World Peace is a likely candidate to be amnestied.  Should the amnesty provision be used on World Peace, the Lakers could save approximately $30 million in luxury taxes. The Lakers have chosen to exercise the team option on Jodie Meeks next season.  Despite having an up and down 2012-2013 season, Meeks minimal salary of $1.5 million is attractive given the tax-burdened state of the Lakers. The Lakers also extended a qualifying offer to Robert Sacre, making him a restricted free agent. While these aren’t the splashy, eye-catching moves Laker fans are excited to learn about, they are par for course until the Lakers are able to free themselves of restrictions placed on them due to being a repetitive tax-paying team. Related Articles  Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant update What USC should do with Lane Kiffin USC football recruiting update

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbaugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker