Dwight Howard Among Lakers’ 4 Potential DeMarcus Cousins Replacements

Lakers Dwight Howard

Getty Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Dwight Howard joining the Los Angeles Lakers has picked up steam in the last 24-36 hours.

So much steam that the Memphis Grizzlies are granting the Lakers permission to speak with Dwight Howard, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

Howard, who is an eight-time NBA All-Star has averaged 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds throughout his career. Along with being the first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Howard is an Olympic gold medalist. He helped lead the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals where they were defeated by the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers.

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.

Lakers’ Other Possible Targets to Replace DeMarcus Cousins

While these are exploratory talks, there have been a few other names that are of interest to the Lakers. This is a list that includes Joakim Noah, Nenê & Kenneth Faried.

Each player could make sense as an option to help fill the void left by Cousins’ absence. There’s little doubt that Howard has the potential to make the biggest impact, though, assuming things are able to work out with the two sides.

It remains a big question mark as to whether that will be the outcome, but the positive news is that there are names remaining on the free-agent market who can make an impact for the Lakers.

Dwight Howard’s Recent NBA Career

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.”

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.”

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