Despite a complicated trade that landed superstar center Dwight Howard with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard isn't willing to commit to Hollywood beyond this season. While the August deal ended two years of stressful speculation for the Orlando Magic, questions regarding what Howard will do in the summer of 2013, when he will become an unrestricted free agent, have already surfaced. Howard gave no answers. "I think the best thing to do is talk about it at the end of the year," Howard told Fox Sports. "We just went through that last season, basically, and I don't want to go through it again or see anyone have to go through it. "This is going to be my decision, and I'm going to wait till the end of the year. But I'm happy to be in L.A. This is a great place. I love the coaching staff, and I love the organization for everything they've done for me since I got traded here." He did provide a carrot. "Hopefully I'll have a long career here in L.A." Rhetoric aside, most media outlets expect that Howard will sign a long-term deal with the Lakers. Howard likely wants to avoid another circus, and the Lakers likely wouldn't have traded for him without being confident he would stay. ---Philadelphia 76ers executive Tony DiLeo been promoted to general manager, the team announced Friday. The Sixers had interviewed numerous outside candidates, but went with the man who had been part of the Sixers basketball operations department since the 1990-91 season. "We are very confident that Tony has the experience and knowledge to flourish in his new role," Sixers owner Josh Harris said in a statement. "We will continue to provide him with the necessary tools and resources -- including enhancing our capabilities in analytics -- to strengthen our basketball operations department." Entering his 23rd season with the organization, DiLeo was promoted from his current position as senior vice president of basketball operations, where he been since September 2003. "I am very excited about being named General Manager of this organization and look forward to building upon our recent success," DiLeo said in a statement. "I would like to thank Josh Harris and the ownership group for providing me with this opportunity and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure we put a team that our fans will be proud to support, both this season and in the future." ---Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov's goal remains winning a championship, and the confident Russian expects that to happen soon. "Every team has a grand plan, and we're moving slowly, step by step, because it's easy to make a strong team, but it's very difficult to make a championship team," Prokhorov told reporters Friday after a ribbon-cutting, ceremonial opening of the $1 billion Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. "We are on the right way and I'm expecting our championship within three years." Prokhorov promised a title with five years when he bought the team in 2009, so his plan remains on schedule. "He said five, so we're down to three. To me, it's a great goal," Nets general manager Billy King told reporters. "I'd rather him say that than say, 'Hopefully we're going to win a championship at some point.' That's the goal, and I look forward to the challenge." The Nets haven't made the playoffs since the 2006-07 season, and have gone 58-172 over the past three seasons. Prokhorov allowed the team to spend to keep point guard Deron Williams and sign shooting guard Joe Johnson. "For me there is only one place: No. 1," Prokhorov said. "And I'll do my best in order to reach a championship."
- Dwight Howard
- Mikhail Prokhorov