Lakers GM refutes trade-talk report

Updated: February 16, 2013, 10:57 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak denied a CBSSports.com report that the Lakers and Celtics were in preliminary talks to trade Dwight Howard for Rajon Rondo.

"I haven't talked to Danny Ainge in weeks," Kupchak told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard. "I made the statement a week or two ago that we're not going to trade Dwight Howard and that hasn't changed."

I made the statement a week or two ago that we're not going to trade Dwight Howard and that hasn't changed.

-- Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak

When asked if a possible Howard-for-Rondo trade was discussed when he spoke to the Celtics weeks ago, Kupchak again said no. He said at no point this season has a Howard-for-Rondo trade been discussed.

Earlier Friday, Howard addressed the possibility of being traded before the celebrity All-Star Game.

Asked if he'd be shocked if the Lakers moved him in the coming days, Howard said: "Well, they told me they weren't going to trade me. So, yeah, I would be surprised."

Howard spent much of his 30-minute session with reporters trying to deflect questions about his future. But, ultimately, he said he wouldn't be pressured by anyone into making a decision about his future before the end of the season.

"The only thing that matters is the present, and right now," Howard said. "There's no need to talk about what's going to happen at the end of the season. No reason to go back and forth about it. I just feel like at the end of the year, I should have my opportunity to make my own decision. I shouldn't be criticized for waiting for the end of the year."

Information from ESPN.com's Michael Wallace was used in this report.

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