The reunion that no Los Angeles Lakers fan asked for. The organization is interested in signing Dwight Howard, who is expected to be bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Earlier last week, center DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL, placing his season in jeopardy. Since the injury, the Lakers have kept a close eye on the buy-out market across the league. Howard is the at the top of that list. Howard last played for the Lakers in the 2012-2013 NBA season. During that season, Howard led the league in rebounding with 12.4 rebounds per game. He also averaged 17.1 points per game, his lowest since his sophomore season in 2005-2006.
The one season with the Lakers is widely regarded as a complete failure. During the same offseason the Lakers acquired Howard, they also acquired former MVP Steve Nash. These moves formed a super-team in Los Angeles, with Nash, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and Howard being the starting lineup. Bryant still had plenty in the tank and Howard was by far the best center in the league.
Even though Howard experienced a significant back injury during that season, he led the league in rebounding and played 76 regular season games. The fact that Laker fans questioned his heart and desire to play is laughable.
Howard would be a big personality to add to the Lakers locker room. But he is in the twilight of his career, and this could be his big chance to compete for championships again. Howard has spent the past three seasons playing for the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards. Last season with the Wizards, Howard averaged 12.8 pointers per game and 9.2 rebounds per game: a nice stat-line for someone who is considered washed. Add that production with superstar Anthony Davis and backup center JaVale McGee, and the Lakers have a dangerous front court to contest any low post shot attempt.