NBA Rumors: LA Lakers Could Prioritize Re-Signing Dwight Howard Instead Of Bringing DeMarcus Cousins Back

Despite being waived after the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, all-star center DeMarcus Cousins continues to be linked with the Los Angeles Lakers. Though he didn’t get the opportunity to play for the Lakers in the 2019-20 NBA season, there are speculations they could try bringing him back when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Cousins may have spent the past years dealing with injuries, but when he’s healthy, he would undeniably be a huge help for the Lakers on both ends of the floor.

In a recent appearance on The Hoop Collective podcast, Brian Windhorst of ESPN discussed several topics, including the possibility that the Lakers may consider giving Cousins a second chance in the 2020 NBA free agency. With his inability to return to action this season and growing concerns regarding his health, Windhorst said the Lakers won’t be needing to use a huge chunk of their salary cap space to bring Cousins back this summer.

“I don’t think DeMarcus Cousins is looking at a make good contract, even if it’s more than a minimum. I think that after a series of injuries he’s had, all of which indicates that he’s coming back too fast, doing too much, he needs even more time of coming back from this. He’s gonna have a job in the league, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big money,” Windhorst said, as quoted by

Though Cousins is expected to accept a veteran minimum deal in free agency, there’s no guarantee that he will get a spot on the Lakers’ roster this summer. According to Windhorst, when it comes to filling up their frontcourt depth, the Lakers are expected to prioritize Dwight Howard over Cousins. Windhorst said the Lakers would rather see what they could “squeeze” from Howard in the 2020-21 NBA season than having a “mystery” with Cousins.

Re-signing Howard instead of Cousins is undeniably a wise move for the LA team. Though he couldn’t space the floor and is older than Cousins, Howard has stayed away from major injuries this year and managed to make himself fit in with the Lakers’ system. Also — unlike his previous stints with other NBA teams — Howard is no longer a headache in the locker room.

Despite serving as a role player and receiving limited playing time, Howard has managed to established an impressive performance in his return to the Lakers. In the 62 games he played this season, the 34-year-old center averaged 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks, while shooting 73.2 percent from the field. Although LA might prioritize Howard over Cousins, they may have to pay more for him, however. With his current performance, the center would likely demand a raise in free agency.

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