LeBron James shook the NBA landscape when he decided to take his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers and leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a move that made other veteran players decide to join James and head to L.A. Now, there appears to be another player that would like to team up with James.
According to a report shared by Bleacher Report, Dwight Howard would like to sign with the Lakers this offseason to play alongside James.
Howard has played with the Lakers before, but his first tenure with the team did not go as planned. Things did not go well between Howard and Kobe Bryant and he exited after just one season with the franchise. Perhaps the second time around would go better for the two sides.
Los Angeles could certainly use some help at the center position. Golden State is coming off of a huge season in 2017-18 but was still able to steal DeMarcus Cousins on a one-year deal worth just over $5 million. Howard may not be as good of a player, but he could help offset the Warriors’ move for Cousins.
Last season with the Charlotte Hornets, Howard ended up averaging 16.6 points per game to go along with 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He shot 55.5 percent from the field.
If Howard is willing to sign with the Lakers for the minimum, it would be well worth the risk. He is still capable of scoring well, rebounding the ball at an elite level, and protecting the rim.
— Robert Littal (@BSO) July 3, 2018
Competing with the Warriors isn’t necessarily a year one thing for James and the Lakers. He made it clear by signing a four-year deal that he is planning to stay in Los Angeles long-term. Next offseason, the Lakers could target another star to play alongside James like Kawhi Leonard.
Magic Johnson has done an excellent job rebuilding the Lakers into a serious contender in the Western Conference. In addition to James, he has signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo. All four of those players are capable of having big years for the Lakers.
Add in Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart and the Lakers have plenty of young talent around James.
At 32-years-old, Howard is in the latter stages of his prime and needs to join a contender. Teaming up with James would be the best move that he could make.
Expect to hear the market heat up for Howard in the next day or two as free agents continue being signed. Los Angeles may choose to avoid Howard, but it would make sense for the two parties to discuss a one-year “prove it” deal.