The Los Angeles Lakers have a gigantic hole at center following DeMarcus Cousins suffering a torn ACL during an offseason workout, as JaVale McGee is currently the only five the team has on the roster. With few options internally, the Lakers would need to look to the free agent and/or trade market for some help, and according to reports, they might decide with signing someone who is familiar with the purple and gold.
Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated reported on Saturday that Dwight Howard’s name was being thrown around as a possible Boogie replacement in L.A.
A name I’m hearing the Lakers are seriously interested in after the Boogie Cousins injury: Dwight Howard.
The Grizzlies haven’t bought him out yet, but he’s not expected to play in Memphis this season. Javale McGee is the only other center on LA’s roster.
— Rohan Nadkarni (@RohanNadkarni) August 17, 2019
One day later and it turns out there’s a chance this could come to fruition. Shams Charania of The Athletic brought word that not only is there mutual interest between the two sides in a reunion, but the expectation is that Los Angeles is going to request permission to speak to Howard sometime soon.
The Lakers are expected to request permission soon to speak to Dwight Howard and there's mutual interest between the eight-time All-Star and L.A. in wake of DeMarcus Cousins' torn ACL, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 18, 2019
Howard is in Memphis following a trade between the Grizzlies and the Washington Wizards. The expectation has long been that he’d get waived or traded following the deal, which took place in early July, while Charania reports that he’ll likely end up getting released sometime soon.
The history between Howard and the Lakers is well-documented. The former All-NBA center famously forced his way out of Orlando following eight years in Florida, but his time in L.A. did not go the way anyone anticipated. Howard spent one year with the Lakers, averaging 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds during the 2012-13 campaign, and despite being offered a max contract by the team in free agency, opted to leave and join the Houston Rockets upon hitting the open market.