Lakers Notes: Howard, Vogel, Smith, Pelinka

The Lakers still aren’t sure if Dwight Howard will join them in Orlando, but his name will be on the roster the team must submit today, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The veteran center has been a vocal critic of the NBA’s restart plan and is dealing with off-court issues as well. Still, coach Frank Vogel said today on a conference call that Howard has expressed a desire to play.

“We’ve been in communication with Dwight the whole way,” Vogel told reporters. “We don’t know what the level of participation is yet. He wants to play. We’re hopeful he’s able to join us. We’re hopeful and optimistic that he’ll be able to join us in Orlando.”

Howard is in Georgia with his family, according to a league source, and is complying with the league’s home quarantine and testing protocol. He is taking care of his six-year-old son, whose mother died in March.

There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

  • Vogel doesn’t expect J.R. Smith to take over Avery Bradley‘s role, but the coach believes Smith can help the Lakers in other ways, McMenamin adds in the same piece. “In terms of what he brings to the table, just the experience factor,” Vogel said. “I mean, this guy is a big-time player. He’s proven it over the course of his career. … We almost added him earlier in the year when we added Dion Waiters and now we have the luxury of having both. We’re not going to ask him to come in and be Avery Bradley. He’s going to come in and be J.R. Smith. He’s going to just fill that position, more than fill that role.”
  • Smith didn’t participate in today’s opening of training camp, and Vogel has only had a brief conversation with the veteran guard, according to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Vogel admitted that Smith’s prior experience playing alongside LeBron James factored into the signing. “His familiarity with LeBron and the way we built our team, obviously, around LeBron, there’s a lot of similarities to the things they did in Cleveland,” Vogel said. “That definitely is a factor in what we feel like JR can bring to the table in what is going to be a very short time to get acclimated.”
  • GM Rob Pelinka believes the restart will be “as much of a mental test as it is a physical test” because of the unusual circumstances, McMenamin writes in a separate story. After a layoff of roughly four months, teams will have to rediscover their chemistry quickly to deal with a condensed schedule. “I think a team like ours, that has such a strong togetherness component, will have an advantage at that part,” Pelinka said. “This team of guys love being together and love playing together. I think that’s the significant part of the (first) 63 games.”
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9 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Howard, Vogel, Smith, Pelinka

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      No, the rosters were set yesterday but players can still choose not to play for whatever reason and teams can still add a replacement player.

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Lakers need Howard. Helps their depth. I didn’t know about his son. Young kid needs him now. I can understand that. With his money he can take him with a relative. Quarantine in Florida. Then ha can meet up later. Gotta be tough man. The way Florida is now. They better all follow strict protocol.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      They already lost Bradley, one of their top defenders, so losing Howard on top of that would really hurt the Lakers depth. If D12 sits out, then LA would likely be forced to move AD to center and start him alongside LBJ, Kuzma, Green, and KCP. Then McGee would likely move to the 2nd unit and join Rondo, Markieff, and Caruso.

  2. Sillivan

    His son needs to follow him to Orlando.

    Lakers wives and girlfriends can bring his son to Disney (or entrance) every day.

  3. Simmons>Russ

    Lakers will be better next season and win it then 100%.

    Giannis will be distracted in a contract year.
    Clippers can resign that whole team (Harrell, Green, Jackson, Morris)
    Rockets don’t have the size
    Sixers still have issues
    Celtics are the future but not the present
    Raptors are good competition but Bron and AD vs Siakim and Lowry is a mismatch.
    GSW will be a threat again tho

    But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers made a good FA signing for a ring chaser.

    Maybe DeMar DeRozan returning home to LA, Jeff Teague possibly being the modern Mario Chalmers but better, Tristan Thompson following Bron or Maurice Harkless returning to LA and giving payback to the Clippers who traded him.

    DeRozan would obviously be the best but fit is questionable and he probably wants money over rings. Teague would make sense and fit well. Thompson isn’t really needed but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bron made it happen. Harkless is probably very unlikely but as a defensive SF he would fit really well with Danny Green and AD.

    1. Jeff Teague. Bradley. Carusco
    2. Danny Green. JR Smith. Horton-Tucker
    3. LeBron James. KCP. Jordan Nwora
    4. Anthony Davis. Kyle Kuzma
    5. Tristan Thompson. Dwight Howard.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      LeBron will be turning 36 when the next season begins, and the short offseason will almost certainly hurt him more than anyone in the league. This year is going to be his last chance at winning another championship, thinking the Lakers will be better in 2021 is utterly ridiculous.

      • Simmons>Russ

        The short offseason …. that’s your reason.

        He’s had 3+ months off mid season. Don’t try act like it’s going to be a quick turn around.
        Even at 36 Bron will be a top 5 player in the league (Bron Kawhi KD and Giannis plus 1 other) and AD is top 10.
        Like I said they will be rested, they will have another FA to get stronger while I believe other teams get worse

        • El Don

          Agree with you Simmons>Russ…
          BTW Giannis is the #1! AD is a top 5 in the league hands down, so is LBJ… now KD probably won’t be anymore after the injury & Kawhi never was close to be a top 5!

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