The Lakers should seriously consider adding Dwight Howard, according to multiple league executives.
Los Angeles is reportedly interested in the 33-year-old center after DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL during a workout last week. League executives told USA Today’s HoopsHype that inking Howard to a minimum deal is a low risk, high reward scenario.
“I think it’s worth the risk for them,” one anonymous executive said. “If it doesn’t work out, they can cut bait.”
Howard was sent from the Wizards to the Grizzlies in early July. Memphis is expected to waive Howard, which would make him a free agent, and the team has reportedly already given Los Angeles permission to speak with him.
Another executive told HoopsHype:
“Personal baggage aside, I would sign him. He’s clearly the best player available if he’s healthy. We’ve heard the same song from him for years (as far as changing). But for the minimum? Why not? If it doesn’t work, they move on.”
Howard was a star early in his career, however, he has struggled with injuries and reportedly clashed with teammates in recent seasons. He previously played for the Lakers in 2012-13 and said last month he was open to returning to Los Angeles.
“It just wasn’t the right fit for me at the time,” Howard told the Los Angeles Times in early July. “But the Lakers have been doing something right for a long time because they have the most fans in the world and the most championships over the past 40 years. You’re not going to win a championship every year, but they’re back and will compete for a championship next season."
The Lakers rebuilt their roster this summer when they acquired Anthony Davis in a trade with the Pelicans to pair with LeBron James. They created cap space to add a third max player but missed out on Kawhi Leonard, who signed with the Clippers.
Los Angeles then inked Avery Bradley, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso to deals, in addition to Cousins.
McGee is currently the only healthy center on the Lakers’ roster.