Lakers Interested In Reunion With Dwight Howard

Six years after leaving the Lakers, Dwight Howard may be about to return, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. L.A. is expected to seek permission to talk to the veteran center, and there is reportedly “mutual interest” in a reunion.

Howard, 33, is currently with the Grizzlies after being traded there in early July in exchange for C.J. Miles. However, the move was regarded as a salary dump for Memphis, and Howard isn’t expected to play for the franchise. Buyout talks are expected soon on his $5.6MM contract for the upcoming season.

An eight-time All-Star who was once considered one of the league’s best centers, Howard has turned into a journeyman since reaching his 30s. He has played for four teams in the past four years and was briefly the property of the Nets last summer. Injuries limited him to nine games last season, but he was still productive in 2017/18, averaging 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per night with the Hornets.

The Lakers suddenly find themselves short-handed at center after this week’s ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins, who signed with the team last month. L.A. was hoping to avoid using Anthony Davis in the middle, but JaVale McGee is the only other currently option on the roster.

Still, the shift toward Howard is somewhat surprising, given his acrimonious history with the team. Howard spent just one year in L.A. after being traded there in 2012, signing with the Rockets the following summer. Kobe Bryant famously called him “soft” at the time and suggested that Howard wasn’t willing to learn how to win.

In an interview last month with Kristine Leahy of FS1 (video link), Howard appears to have come to terms with those comments. “Everybody reaches different levels of maturity at different times,” he said. “I think at that time I was ignorant to the level that he was at. So I appreciate you, Kobe. Thank you for saying I was soft. I didn’t realize what you meant until now.”

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33 thoughts on “Lakers Interested In Reunion With Dwight Howard

  1. jeremy

    Seeing as the options out there are slim. He be one of the better options for us. But it be funny if the grizz don’t buy him out and make us have to sign someone else.

  2. Equinsu Ocha

    I’d rather Kenneth Faried or even Mo Speights… but Howard will do I suppose.

  3. metsie1

    Lakers are doomed. Old LeBron running around with Davis and a bunch of stiffs. No matter how hard First Lake and the rest of the LA phonies try they aren’t dragging this loser into the Playoffs.

    • dust44

      What? They actually built a pretty good roster around AD, Kuz and LeBron. Bunch of shooters and defenders at the guards and wings. Boogie going down hurts but not that he was expected to go out and b an all star again.

    • They will make the playoffs the nba will make sure of that. Making it out of the first or second round is a different question

    • amk3510

      Oh yeah two top 5 players in the sport, really garbage. “Old Lebron” went 27/8/8 last season

      • hiflew

        And his team missed the playoffs. That’s sort of like being one of the most beautiful yachts in the world with a hole in the side. Still looks good, but it’s going to the bottom quickly.

    • southbeachbully

      @Metsie1

      It’s crazy the narrative being bandied about regarding the aging of LBJ. He missed 27 games due to an injury any athlete can get and yet he still averaged 35.2 mpg (6th) and had a great season of 27/8/8. Shill shot over 50%. The only decline was his 3pt shooting which was slight at 37% to 34%.

      Who knows when father time catches up to him but I don’t see last year as an obvious indication of that.

  4. hinglemccringleberry

    I think Howard will work. He hasn’t been on a team where the first two options will be double teamed. He should eat well under the rim with passes from Davis. No doubt he’ll average at least 16 ppg. 12-15 rebounds. His career might be revitalized . People talk like he’s a bad player. I think he’s been on some bad/imbalanced teams.

    One thing for sure, he’s not as clumsy and bone headed as Javale. This is a good move.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      No doubt he will average 16 and 12? If he was still capable of doing that, then why hasn’t Memphis just traded his “team friendly” $5.6M contract for a 1st round pick (or even a 2nd rounder)?

      • southbeachbully

        @harden-westbrook-mvps

        Howard posted 16 and 12 one year before this past injury plagued season. If he’s 100% recovered then why would he not be capable of repeating those numbers if given playing time? Even with his short-season last year WITH the obvious injury still bothering him he 13 pts and 9 reb with a ridiculous near career high 62 FG%.

        Yall crazy. Yes, he might still be effected by his injury but he still remains a completely super efficient FG%. On a team with LBJ and AD he could easily give them a double double.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      If Dwight Howard goes back to the Lakers and plays up to that level, the NBA will be forced to rename the Comeback Player of the Year Award to the Dwight Howard Trophy.

  5. burtgummer

    I’m not a big NBA fan but wasn’t Howard supposed to be a major locker room issue (at least that’s what I’ve read) Its hard to imagine that issue coexisting with the biggest ego in NBA history on the same team

    • x%sure

      He’s basically just too happy and unique all the time combined with a relaxed style on court; turns teammates off. But you get solid production.

      Howard will probably offer a low buyout to get from a bad situation to such a good one, and the Griz FO will probably wait out a Howard cave-in.

      • southbeachbully

        @x%sure

        I actually think Howard would prosper on a team with LBJ especially with a group of vets who have a lot to prove to people. LBJ wants to win in LA. AD wants to prove he can win a chip. The rest are vets looking for perhaps their last title run of their careers.

    • bowserhound

      Rondo and LBJ won’t have any of that, I’m fine with this experiment. Way better than talking about Melo again.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        The Lakers wouldn’t be buying his contract. Memphis has to pay off a part of what he is owed for the season which will then make him a free agent. After that LA can only give him a minimum contract since they have no cap space or exceptions available.

  6. Hannibal8us

    I hope he comes back wearing the same number because somewhere I have his uniform from the last time.

    • southbeachbully

      @tiredolddude

      Can he really be considered a “me first” player when he usually as the highest FG% on his teams but is usually not their top 3 option? I get the fact that he might rub people the right way but to say he’s a “me first” guy seems unearned.

      Especially when he’s playing beside the likes of Kobe and Harden who are clearly me first players. They are “I want my team to win but I want to be the reason they won” kind of players.

      • tiredolddude

        His FG% really is a misnomer, isn’t it? I mean, he’s shooting from under the hoop and no farther than 10 feet out. Cmon now.
        I get what you’re saying about Kobe and Harden, but his prima Donna image is legendary and I say this in full knowledge that off the court, he’s supposed to be one helluva good guy who helps those in need in great proportions

    • hiflew

      Carmelo Anthony would like a word. So would Eddy Curry for that matter. Both were far more selfish than Howard.

    • IslandFlava

      Are you a clip homie or what? Why on earth would anyone go to the Clips?

  7. yoyo137

    Honestly the Blazers should look into bringing him in. I know it’s really unlikely considering Neil Olshey said they’re going into the season with 14 players and an open roster spot and the fact that they already brought in another center who’s been associated with drama in Whiteside. But with the ankle injury Zach Collins had in the offseason and the uncertainty that Pau Gasol will be able to handle a full workload, Dwight would be a good pickup if he’s healthy and has become more mature like he said he has. It’s not gonna happen but it would be smart if it did.

  8. It’s a good move! Remember AD wants to play the 4 we need to keep him here he’s a Unrestricted FA next season!

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