After DeMarcus Cousins suffered an ACL injury during an offseason workout, the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves lacking frontcourt depth. With Cousins unlikely to play for the entire 2019-20 NBA season, the Lakers immediately started their search for a new big man. The Lakers invited three veteran centers, Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, and Marreesse Speights, to a recent workout, to see what each player could bring to the team.
Despite their unpleasant history, the Lakers decided to invite Dwight Howard back to Los Angeles on a non-guaranteed contract. In his recent article, Shams Charania of The Athletic, as quoted by Lakers Nation, revealed that some of the Lakers’ players – Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee – personally attended the workout to see if Howard could be trusted and was a good fit for their team.
“Word traveled around the roster, and Davis, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee spent time with Howard inside the team’s facility Thursday. They wanted to know whether they could trust Howard, whether Howard’s mindset would fit this team.”
Luckily, Howard didn’t just impress the three players, he also showed promise to the Lakers’ officials. After his workout, Howard reportedly told the Lakers why he failed to find success with his previous teams, especially when he hit “rock bottom” with the Washington Wizards in the 2018-19 NBA season.
“League sources said Howard had a convincing and emotional meeting with the players and Lakers officials, explaining how he had reached rock bottom a season ago and needed to find a new mindset in his life. On and off the floor. He was not the teammate he needed to be in playing for three teams in the past three years.
Six years later, Dwight Howard is getting a second chance in L.A. pic.twitter.com/sb1zplZzv7
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 23, 2019
Aside from talking about his past failures, Howard also discussed how he’s going to change, in order to be a reliable contributor for the Lakers next season. As Charania noted, Howard expressed his willingness to do whatever was asked of him, accept any role, and be held accountable at all times. Howard showed the Lakers that he badly wanted redemption and to make the best of his opportunity to win his first NBA championship title.
At the upcoming training camp, Howard will be given the chance to prove if he deserves a spot on the Lakers’ roster or not. By giving him a non-guaranteed contract, the Lakers will have time to see if adding Howard will really be for the better of the team. If they find that he isn’t a good fit on their roster, the Lakers could easily cut him and find another replacement for DeMarcus Cousins.