Lakers Want Dwight Howard? Mutual Interest Expressed [Report]

Dwight Howard Lakers

Getty Dwight Howard previously played for the Lakers

Dwight Howard joining the Los Angeles Lakers?

That’s the latest from the free agency rumor mill. According to Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni, the Lakers are interested in Howard after DeMarcus Cousins’ injury earlier this week.

An 8-time NBA All-Star, Howard has averaged 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds throughout his NBA career.

The first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Howard, an Olympic gold medalist made a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals where the Orlando Magic were defeated by the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers.

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Dwight Howard Speaks on NBA Resume

Howard, 33, is looking to return to next NBA season injury-free.

“I think I’ve done an excellent job of playing basketball my whole life,” Howard told me in June.

“My resume is something that, you know, I don’t really have to speak for. I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to play basketball. So, I think I’ve done an excellent job of playing.”

Howard is a five-time All-Defensive team member, has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award three times and also took home the NBA Slam Dunk Contest crown.

Last summer, the Washington Wizards signed Howard after he was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to the Brooklyn Nets and was eventually being bought out.

When on the floor for the Wizards, Howard was effective this season.

He averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game.

“I am excited to get back to work next season,” Dwight Howard told me in June. “I’m going to continue to get better, continue to smile and continue to enjoy life.”

Dwight Howard’s Battle With Injuries

Injuries have been unkind to Dwight Howard.

Could you imagine a healthy Howard in today’s traditional center deficient NBA?

“Well, I mean, the game is different,” NBA insider, Chris Broussard told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“It’s darn near an entirely different game. You know, the three-point shot was not a big part of teams’ offenses. Scoring was much lower, the game was much slower, defense was much tougher. You could hand check, it was a lot more physical. When Jordan or anybody else drove to the lane, you could get hammered.”

According to NBATV’s Jared Greenberg, a high-ranking Lakers official shared with him that Anthony Davis will not play big minutes at the center position following Cousins’ injury.

Makes sense.

At his introductory press conference, Davis let that be known.

“I like playing the four,” Davis said last month. “I’m not even going to sugar coat it. If it comes down to it, coach, and you need me to play the five, I’ll play the five.”

The injury to Cousins could not come at a worse time for the Lakers and Boogie. As a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, two seasons ago, Cousins suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon

Boogie posted 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists for New Orleans before suffering that setback in January.

The four-time NBA All-Star, who signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal to play for the Golden State Warriors last season, returned to the Warriors’ lineup in January and posted an impressive 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals in 30 regular-season games.

“It’s a team full of high IQs,” Cousins told me in September. “I believe everyone on our team has a very high IQ when it comes to the game of basketball. All of us know how to play the game of basketball.”

“We got guys with the same characteristics that– it’s like play-doh,” he told me. “You can mold them into whatever you want them to be.”

Cousins had never appeared in the NBA playoffs until this past season. Despite injuring his quad and missing 14 playoff games, Boogie did return to the Warriors lineup in time for the NBA Finals.

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