Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers appear ready for a reunion, with the big man ready to return to the franchise for a third stint.
The Lakers let Howard move on during free agency last offseason after winning the title. Howard became a valuable piece off the bench in Philadelphia backing up Joel Embiid. Howard is entering his 18th NBA season but is still a valuable and experienced bench player that can be a mighty presence in the paint.
Dwight Howard is reportedly “ready to return and play center” for the Lakers, per Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times.
Howard averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds last season with Philadelphia. He provided nearly 20 minutes per game, 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds with the Lakers in the year prior.
Avery Bradley Also Rumored as Target for Lakers
Another familiar face that the Lakers could target is Avery Bradley, who had his option worth nearly $6 million declined by the Houston Rockets on Saturday.
Bradley could be a key piece for a contending team thinks to his 3-and-D skill set. He’s averaged 11.5 points, 2.9 boards and 1.8 assists per game in his career.
While he didn’t outright name the Lakers, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that “contenders and teams that Bradley previously played for are expected to have strong interest in him.”
Bradley has not been able to find a consistent home, playing 11 seasons for seven different teams, including the Celtics, Pistons, Heat, Grizzlies and Clippers. He was given a ring with the Lakers, although he decided not to travel to the bubble.
Lakers Considering Bringing Back Andre Drummond
Drummond averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds after joining the Lakers in March following a buyout agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He started all but one game he played with the Lakers — a DNP-CD in the decisive Game 6 of LA’s first-round playoff series against Phoenix.
The Lakers have been open about wanting Drummond to be a part of the future in Los Angeles and he seems pretty set on returning.
“I enjoyed my time being here in Los Angeles. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot being alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and just the whole team in general,” Drummond said during a recent Instagram Live interview with Aron Cohen of lakersalldayeveryday, an account with more than 300,000 followers. “Their mentality of how they attack the game really changed my perception of how I want to carry myself when it comes to basketball. I think playing-wise, we know a lot of guys were injured and we weren’t at full strength the rest of the year. It’s hard to be out in that first round, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Guys will take care of themselves this summer and we’ll find a way to come back stronger.”
However, Drummond has also been adamant about not taking the veteran’s minimum, so the Lakers might not be willing to splurge on him if there’s a more cost-effective option like Howard. Turner called the situation with Drummond “less than idea” for the Lakers, despite what they said publicly.