Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers may land on Dwight Howard as Cousins replacement

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking at options to replace DeMarcus Cousins, and a reunion with Dwight Howard seems to be on the table.

In the wake of DeMarcus Cousins suffering a torn ACL during a workout in Las Vegas last week, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking for a replacement big man. Virtually anyone who is or could be available has been mentioned somewhere, and according to Shams Charania of the Athletic and Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated Dwight Howard is on the radar.

Howard only played nine games for the Washington Wizards last season due to injuries. He was sent to the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade this offseason, but they have been expected to waive or trade him from the start rather than pay him $5.6 million for the coming season.

Howard of course played for the Lakers during one ill-fated season, in 2012-13. But this Lakers’ regime is different in every key aspect now, most notably with Rob Pelinka as general manager and more importantly no Kobe Bryant to have ongoing discontent with.

In 2017-18 with the Charlotte Hornets, Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game over 81 games (30.4 minutes per contest). He’s the type of old school-style big man the modern game has left in its wake, but Howard showed just two seasons ago he can still be a productive player in his niche.

Howard will not officially be available until Memphis buys him out. But with the Lakers as a potential suitor now, the timetable for that formality seems sure to be pushed from his side.

Joakim Noah has seemingly emerged as the other primary option the Lakers may be honing in on. So there should be some urgency for the team too.

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Howard’s prime, when he was an eight-time All-Star and won Defensive Player of the Year three times, is long gone. But with Javale McGee the only center left on their roster, the Lakers just need someone to produce in a defined background role and a reunion looks clearly looks like their best option to replace Cousins.

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