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No, this isn't 2012. Yes, the Lakers are interested in Dwight Howard.
The Lakers are scrambling to find a replacement at center after newly acquired big man DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL in a pickup basketball game last week.
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
The Wizards traded Howard to the Memphis Grizzlies last month for veteran wing CJ Miles, but he's expected to be released.
Howard is no stranger to L.A., as he spent the 2012-2013 season with the Lakers after a blockbuster four-team deal shipped him out of Orlando. The Lakers went 45-37 that year, and Howard signed with the Houston Rockets the following offseason.
Although he was named an All-Star in 2012, Howard's stats took a notable hit. He averaged 17.1 points on 57.8 percent shooting while grabbing 12.4 rebounds. During his last season in Orlando he averaged 20.6 points on 57.3 percent shooting, while grabbing 14.5 boards. It was the first time Howard hadn't averaged at least 20+ points per game since the 2009 season.
Howard attributed a lackluster season with the Lakers to "injury," which can also be said about his time in Washington. Howard only played nine games with the Wizards due to a lingering lower-back injury, but his name stayed out of headlines.
A healthy Howard is still a viable option down low. In 2017 Howard started 81 games for the Charlotte Hornets while averaging 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. However, the key word is healthy.
When Howard signed with Washington last year he presented this soliloquy at his introductory press conference:
"I learned Magic for eight years. Traveled to La-La Land. Learned how to work with Rockets. I went and learned to fly with some Hawks. Got stung by the Hornets — just a joke. But through all of that, it’s taught me how to be a Wizard.”
If Howard and the Lakers do agree to a deal, the real question is: What will he say at the next press conference?
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