Lakers 8-Time All-Star Could Bolt for Contender, Says Ex-NBA Exec

Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers head coach of the Darvin Ham.

All signs point to Dwight Howard’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers once again coming to a close. Former NBA executive turned NBA analyst Bobby Marks labeled the Nets, Warriors and Clippers as the top potential landing spots for Howard.

“On paper, the answer is Brooklyn, but the likelihood is that we see Ben Simmons playing the majority of minutes at center,” Marks detailed on August 2, 2022. “The Nets also have Nic Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe in a backup role. Golden State could use Howard but only if James Wiseman suffers a setback and Andre Iguodala retires. The Clippers need size, but because of tax implications, they will likely not carry 15 guaranteed contracts to start the season.”

Howard was a part-time starter for the Lakers last season but his third stint in Los Angeles came with mixed results. The big man averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds during his 60 appearances, including 27 starts, for the 2021-22 season.

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Howard Could Consider Transitioning to a WWE Career

During a June 28 interview with ESPN Radio’s Arash Markazi, Howard revealed that he is considering a wrestling career but his preference is to continue plying basketball before making the move. Howard took part in a WWE tryout session during the offseason.

“I would love to play in the NBA [this season],” Howard told Markazi. “Obviously, that’s where I’ve been my whole entire life. I love basketball, it’s my passion. I still have years left in me. So, I would definitely love to play, just end my career on a high note, on a great note and then transition to the best business in the world: WWE.”

As ESPN’s Dave McMenamin detailed, Howard’s time with the Lakers last season was less than ideal for more than just basketball reasons.

“From getting in a shoving match during a timeout with Anthony Davis in the second game of the season to being snubbed from the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, it never came together in Howard’s third stint with the Lakers,” McMenamin wrote on August 2. “And with Jordan, Davis and James getting the lion’s share of the minutes at center, he never found a consistent role.”

The Lakers Are Not Expected to Make Another Signing

The Lakers signed Damian Jones and Thomas Bryant this offseason and both big man are expected to compete to be the team’s starting center. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha does not see the Lakers making any additional roster moves before the season tips off, unless they are able to find an appealing trade for Russell Westbrook.

“I think the Lakers are done adding free agents,” Buha wrote on August 3. “They’ve recently preferred to keep their cap sheet lower and their roster flexible with an empty roster spot. If they make a trade, they may also add an extra player, so they need that adaptability. They also could be players in the buyout market at the midway point of the season, as they were in 2020 (Markieff Morris) and 2021 (Andre Drummond).

“The realistic ideal move would be trading Westbrook, either for Irving or for the Hield-Turner combination. Otherwise, I don’t think there is much worth pursuing. Acquiring, say, Hield or Eric Gordon in a non-Westbrook deal would improve the roster’s shooting, but wouldn’t dramatically move the needle, in my opinion.”

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