Kupchak clear he wants Dwight Howard to stay

Kupchak clear he wants Dwight Howard to stay

Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 28: Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers battles for rebound position against Aron Baynes #16 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The Associated Press

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 8:01 PM

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- In words and deeds, the Los Angeles Lakers are making it clear how they feel about Dwight Howard.

The Lakers took the unusual step earlier this week of putting up billboards around the LA area with a photo of the center and the word “Stay.” General manager Mitch Kupchak also addressed his feelings late Thursday night after the NBA draft.

Said Kupchak: “The message is simple: we care about you and we want you to stay.”

Howard’s impending free agency has been prominent in the Lakers’ minds since their season ended in a first-round playoff sweep.

Howard, a seven-time All-Star, has vowed to make his decision in his own best interests, giving no indication he favored the Lakers over any other team. The free agency period begins at 9:01 p.m. PDT Sunday.

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