As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a number of Los Angeles Lakers players, including recent acquisition Anthony Davis and free-agent returnees JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, were present when Dwight Howard worked out for the team late last month. As it turned out, the three veterans were sufficiently impressed by Howard, with the Lakers ultimately deciding to sign the eight-time All-Star to a one-year contract as a potential replacement for the injured DeMarcus Cousins.
Given that Davis has repeatedly been cited as saying that he would rather play power forward than center, it seems that the Lakers wanted to replace Cousins with someone who could see quality minutes at center and allow the former New Orleans Pelicans big man to play his preferred position. As quoted by Silver Screen and Roll, this was expounded on by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne when she recently appeared on ESPN Radio’s The Stephen A. Smith Show.
“The reason that Dwight is a Laker is because Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play the five. He doesn’t want to play against the big centers in the Western Conference. He needs a big dude next to him that can eat up some of those minutes and take some of that physical pounding from Nikola Jokic or [Jusuf] Nurkic or any of the centers you want to name out West… Anthony Davis doesn’t want to be that guy, and so he had a big say in whether or not Dwight was going to be cast in this role for them.”
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) September 3, 2019
According to Silver Screen and Roll, Shelburne’s explanation of why Davis vouched for Dwight Howard after the Memphis Grizzlies bought out his contract is consistent with reports suggesting that the Lakers are allowing their top two superstars a lot of input when it comes to rebuilding their roster. Much like LeBron James, it appears that Davis has been consulted multiple times on personnel decisions, with the team making him feel more like a “partner” rather than a mere employee. This, the outlet added, could also be part of Los Angeles’ pitch as the organization tries to prevent Davis from leaving via free agency in the summer of 2020.
As for Howard, he is now getting ready to kick off his second stint with the Lakers after a turbulent 2012-13 season that saw him consistently feuding with then-franchise player Kobe Bryant. The 33-year-old former No. 1 overall draft pick last suited up for the Washington Wizards in the 2018-19 season, playing only nine games due to injuries and averaging 12.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 0.4 blocks per game as he played for his fourth team in just as many seasons, per Basketball-Reference.