"I understand about all the trade talks," said Howard. "But (Lakers president) Jim Buss has made it clear that nobody is getting traded. (GM) Mitch (Kupchak) has made it clear, and they're going to leave the decision at the end of the year up to me. But I think it's too early to separate this team."
Howard, who underwent season-ending back surgery last April and has struggled to return to 100% form since, says his back is about 75%. "This is my first year coming off back surgery. I really don't think people understand the severity of the surgery and how long it takes to recover."
As far as his expectations for the Lakers? "Getting to the playoffs and winning a championship. (It) hasn't changed."
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