After losing center DeMarcus Cousins to an ACL tear before he had the opportunity to play in a single game, the Los Angeles Lakers are now searching for a new center. With the free-agent all but dried up, might they turn to a familiar – and reviled – face in Dwight Howard?
According to Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, the Lakers are seriously considering Howard, who spent one disappointing season in Los Angeles in 2012-2013 before leaving to join the Houston Rockets in free agency.
Plenty of disdain for Howard still exists among the Lakers’ massive fan base but given the lack of quality free agents still left on the market the team can’t afford to turn their nose up at the idea regardless of the lingering resentment. On this episode of the LN News Feed, host Trevor Lane takes a look at the rumor and investigates what Howard could bring to the Lakers.
Can Howard, who will turn 34 this season and only appeared in 9 games last year for the Washington Wizards, come to the rescue for the Lakers? It’s certainly a risky move, but the reward could be high should Howard look anything like the player he was for the Charlotte Hornets two seasons ago when he put up 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 81 games.
That version of Howard appeared to have plenty left in the tank but he struggled with back issues during his season with Wizards, which should at least give the Lakers pause.
Of course, there is also the issue of Howard currently being under contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, who acquired him via a trade with the Wizards, though they are expected to buy him out at some point.