Ex-Lakers Stars Make Final Decision on Joining Dwight Howard Overseas: Report

Dwight Howard

Getty Dwight Howard

Three former Los Angeles Lakers stars have made a final decision on joining Dwight Howard overseas.

Marc Stein of Substack reported on November 28 that Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas aren’t interested in following Howard to Taiwan. Howard, who played for the Lakers in 2021-22 with Anthony, signed with the Taoyuan Leopards.

“While true that Taiwanese clubs have been chasing their signatures, league sources say that a trio of former All-Stars — Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas — have thus far shown zero interest in following Dwight Howard to Taiwan,” Stein wrote. “Sources stress that all three are determined to keep searching for their next NBA opportunity irrespective of any overseas interest.”

Huang Chiao-Wen and James Lo of Focus Taiwan reported on November 13 that the Tainan TSG GhostHawks were hoping to sign Anthony, who appeared in 69 games for the Lakers last season. Thomas has had two stints with the purple and gold, while Cousins was on the 2019-20 team but never played a single minute after tearing his ACL.

Anthony Played Well for the Lakers

Anthony, who is close friends with Lakers superstar LeBron James, averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists last season while shooting 44.1% from the field, 37.5% from beyond the arc and 83.0% from the free-throw line. The 10-time All-Star was fifth on the Lakers in scoring, third in 3-point makes and fourth in win shares.

On April 11, 2022, Anthony spoke with Dave McMenamin of ESPN about his experience playing for the Lakers, who missed the playoffs last season despite having Anthony, James, Howard, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis.

“This was another chapter for me,” Anthony told McMenamin. “I can say I’ve experienced it. … I can finally check the box — played with Bron. Played with AD. We had, on paper — we were phenomenal on paper. Me, personally, I had a good year, personally. Just as far as happiness and being able to go out there and compete and being able to do my part, play my part on this team. There were good days, there were bad days, but we got through it, and I got through it.”

Anthony has career averages of 22.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in 1,260 regular-season games with the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Lakers. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer one day.

Thomas & Cousins Haven’t Been the Same Since Getting Hurt

Thomas played like an MVP during the 2016-17 season with the Boston Celtics. The two-time All-Star averaged 28.9 points and helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

However, Thomas suffered a serious hip injury during the 2017 playoffs and has never been the same player since. The lefty has averaged 11.7 points with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lakers, Nuggets, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets since getting hurt.

Cousins used to be the best big man in the game when he was with the Sacramento Kings. The four-time All-Star averaged 21.5 points and 11.0 rebounds with the Kings and Pelicans before tearing his Achilles during the 2017-18 season. Cousins has averaged 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds with the Golden State Warriors, Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Nuggets since suffering his Achilles injury.

Howard made his debut in Taiwan’s T1 League on November 19 and went off for 38 points, 25 rebounds, nine assists and four blocks to lead the Taoyuan Leopards to a 120–115 victory over New Taipei CTBC DEA. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year attempted 10 3-pointers and hit two of them.

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