Vogel: Lakers won't replace Howard if he opts out of restart
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Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel says the team won't replace Dwight Howard in the event the eight-time All-Star opts out of the NBA's restart later in July.

The Lakers have been in constant contact with Howard as the backup center deliberates whether he'll join the club in Orlando, Vogel said.

"We've been in communication with Dwight the whole way with supportive phone calls and text messages," Vogel told reporters Wednesday on a video conference call, including ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "We don't know what the level of participation is going to be yet. He wants to play. We're hopeful that he's able to join us."

Howard is currently under quarantine with his family in Georgia, a source told McMenamin. The former No. 1 overall pick has been taking care of his 6-year-old son, David, whose mother died after suffering an epileptic seizure in March.

Howard previously voiced reservations about the league's return. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year stated that resuming the 2019-20 campaign would be a "distraction" from the ongoing fight against social injustice and racism in the United States.

Each of the 22 teams competing in Orlando must submit a list including their entire traveling party to the NBA by the end of the day Wednesday. Vogel says the Lakers "don't have any intention" of excluding Howard from their list.

"He has an extenuating circumstance that he's working with the league on in terms of what that is ultimately going to look like," Vogel said. "But we're hopeful and optimistic that he'll be able to join us in Orlando."

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Vogel: Lakers won't replace Howard if he opts out of restart
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