On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers requested permission from the Memphis Grizzlies to speak with Dwight Howard. Permission was eventually granted, as the Grizzlies are expected to waive the big man. The report came in light of DeMarcus Cousins tearing his ACL during a workout.
Since then, the debate has ensued on whether Howard and Lakers are worth reuniting. Howard played with the franchise during the 2012 season, averaging 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.
By taking on a minimum deal, Los Angeles isn’t risking a whole lot. According to one anonymous NBA executive, Howard could be worth the investment.
“I think it’s worth the risk for them,” one anonymous executive said. “If it doesn’t work out, they can cut bait.”
When healthy, Howard is a double-double machine. While he only played nine games for Memphis in 2018, Howard put up three double-doubles during his short tenure.
With Cousins out of the picture for the 2019 season, the Lakers are currently forced to rely on JaVale McGee for heavy minutes. Although McGee’s numbers improved drastically last season, he isn’t valuable enough to be considered a consistent starter.
Despite the drama back in 2012, Howard is open to a reunion in Los Angeles. At this moment, he’s the best player on the available market. The Lakers need a center to replace Cousins, and Howard is interested. Easy enough, right?
Sure, Howard was sharing the ball with Kobe Bryant in 2012, but it’s difficult to dispute the fact that the Los Angeles spotlight got the best of him. His 12.4 rebounds per game were his lowest since 2006 at the time, and his FG% of 57.8% was his lowest since 2008.
Nine games into the 2018 season, Howard underwent surgery for a gluteal injury that sidelined him for the rest of the year. It marked the first time in his career he played under 55 games, but the fifth time in the last six years that he hasn’t played 75+ games.
If you’re not sold on Howard joining the Lakers, then your opinion likely lines up with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“I think the Lakers would be insane to bring in Dwight Howard,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s The Jump. “Let’s just put aside the fact that he’s repeatedly had issues within the locker room and with his last few teams…the Lakers need a live body. They can’t have a Dwight Howard whose constantly on the verge of injury.”
How do we trust a player to join a locker room that already isn’t very stable? Howard doesn’t line up with the Lakers, as they should instead rely on McGee and other names to fill the void as best as possible.
Photo Credit: SB Nation