Poll: Lakers’ Options At Center

NBA training camps are still six weeks away, and opening night won’t arrive for more than two months, but an injury to a key player already has the Lakers considering ways to address their roster.

Since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn ACL last week, the Lakers have expressed some interest in veteran center Dwight Howard. Although Howard remains under contract with the Grizzlies, he’s viewed as a strong candidate for a buyout, and Memphis has reportedly granted permission to the Lakers to talk to the big man and his reps.

Howard isn’t the only veteran center who might be interested in joining the Lakers. When he first reported L.A.’s interest in a possible reunion with Howard, Shams Charania of The Athletic also mentioned Joakim Noah. While Charania didn’t explicitly identify Noah as a player the Lakers are targeting, he probably wasn’t just speculating when he threw his name out there — the former Defensive Player of the Year may also be on the Lakers’ radar.

Besides Howard and Noah, other options who may appeal to the Lakers include Kenneth Faried, Nene, Marreese Speights, Salah Mejri, and Amir Johnson. Our current list of free agents, which also features vets like Eric Moreland, Zaza Pachulia, and Tyler Zeller, can be found here.

Of course, a free agent signing isn’t an absolute necessity for the Lakers. For now, the team only projects to have one opening on its 15-man regular season roster, and the front office may prefer to keep that spot open in the hopes of landing a player later in the season in a trade or on the buyout market. Until then, the Lakers could lean more heavily on JaVale McGee while also playing Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, or other forwards at the five.

Still, Davis is reportedly averse to spending much time at center, and Kuzma, LeBron James, and the club’s other forwards are probably too undersized to bang down low with the NBA’s top big men. Biting the bullet and filling that 15th roster spot with a center right away might be the best path for the Lakers — especially since the team could theoretically open another roster slot by waiving Cousins if he’s ruled out for the entire season.

As the Lakers mull their options, we want to get your two cents. Is a reunion with Howard the right play for the team, given how poorly their union went in 2012/13? Should the Lakers target another free agent? Or should the club be content to hold steady for now, perhaps asking Davis to play a few more minutes in the middle?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

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26 thoughts on “Poll: Lakers’ Options At Center

  1. goldenmisfit

    Even asking this question is ludicrous. There is not one player on this roster that was on the roster the year Howard was there not one coach not one for an office executive it is an entirely different organization that it was in the 2012-13 season.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      His former affiliation with the team has nothing to do with him re-joining them in 2019. When he played for the Lakers 7 years ago, Dwight Howard was still considered to be one of the best players in the NBA (in his prime at age 26). But now at age 33 he’s a has-been, just like LeBron has become since going to LA.

  2. bowserhound

    Howard because he will be cheap and if he acts up it would be a painless divorce compared to last time.

  3. JonnyLucas

    I like the idea of Dwight, but… He’s no less soft than he was back in 2013. Noah can’t give you numbers anymore, but dude is a warrior. He and McGee can hold the down the fort.

  4. OCTraveler

    Really like the Zeller option- affordable, serviceable and carries no drama. Start him or have him come off the bench without complaints or regrets. A throwback to the era of Jack Haley.

  5. imindless
    imindless

    Mo speights is the best option, cheap rotational big with championship pedigree and low miles on his body compared to dwight howard. Not to mention he can also shoot outside.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Too bad he’s going to play in China instead of choosing to join the trainwreck formerly known as the Los Angeles Lakers.

      • IslandFlava

        You keep getting confused man, the train wreck is known to all hoops fans as the Houston Rockets, keep up dude!

      • amk3510

        Love how you call the Lakers a train wreck but think 2 ball hog guards is somehow a better sitaution than Lebron/AD. Comedy

    • Ron_Karate

      All DH12 gotta do is set picks for ‘Bron and clean boards and eat.

  6. cba93

    I’d take Dwight Howard over Tristan Thompson and I’ve seen lebron win it with him. Hell stuff 10 and 10 easily when he has the favorable matchup and they can miss and match against smaller teams and rest him

  7. Archie M.

    DH will be a better fit now coz he is older, more mature & HE KNOWS that he is not in his prime anymore. This means he will not have too many demands this time around. If DH is smart, at this point in his career, the best thing for him to do is to play like Dennis Rodman did with the Bulls. All out effort & concentration on rebounding & defending. Scoring becomes secondary & sporadic. He will prolong his career & revive his game. To be the best rebounder in the NBA should be his primary goal. Fans will respect his game again. Coaches will want him again.

  8. Simple Fan

    It’s Bol. I already said that Lakers should have signed & traded Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee to Denver for Bol. Why they didn’t, I don’t know.

    • x%sure

      If Denver wanted either they could have just signed one or both and not give up Bol. They didn’t. Also the Lakers are not looking for developmentals; they want ready players.

      • *LeBron wants ready now. They’ll probably bring a LeBron buddy (Melo) and force AD to play more center even though he doesn’t want to. Then you have the Embiid situation where your center is never where he should be and you are still losing the rebound game while he’s going 3-21 for threes. (Definitely not a bitter 76ers fan). Howard fits. Just have to control his minutes.

        • x%sure

          This year, until he signs, I suspect AD out-clouts LJ, so it will be a center.

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