Dwight Howard thought he would re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason, even tweeting an announcement. While things fell apart and he ultimately joined the Philadelphia 76ers, Howard could head back to Los Angeles this summer.
With the Lakers set to acquire Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade, the organization desperately needs to find complementary players who will sign team-friendly contracts in pursuit of a championship. Howard took that kind of deal for the 2019-’20 season and it led to a title.
As NBA free agency approaches and Los Angeles evaluates its options at every position, it seems Howard could be a potential target.
The Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner wrote that Howard remains interested in signing with the Lakers and considering the team’s desire to re-sign him last offseason, a reunion is very possible.
- Dwight Howard stats (2019-’20): 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 2.3 Defensive Win Shares
It would seem to be a natural fit for both parties. Los Angeles traded Montrezl Harrell as part of the Westbrook deal and the future for Marc Gasol is uncertain. While some Lakers rumors suggest Anthony Davis is willing to play center next season, the team needs reliable depth behind him.
Signing Howard would erase some of the Lakers’ issues that arose this past season. Los Angeles couldn’t defend consistently around the rim with Davis sidelined, the team lacked its usual energy and it didn’t always have a reliable player who could finish around the rim.
While it’s unusual to see a player return to a team for a third stint, there’s a possibility this happens. Dwight Howard, who turns 36 in December, likely wants to add a second NBA championship ring to cement his resume for the Hall of Fame. If the money is right, this could be the perfect situation for both parties.