Recently, the Lakers lost one of their recent signings, DeMarcus Cousins. Over the summer, the Lakers signed the free agent center who last played for the Golden State Warriors where he rehabbed a torn left Achilles. Cousins returned in the second half of the 2018-19 season he quickly suffered another setback, a torn left quadriceps in the first round of the playoffs. He was able to return for the Finals but the Warriors still lost to the Toronto Raptors.
When Cousins signed with the Warriors, he had little to no offers from other teams. The Warriors gave Cousins a chance when other teams passed. This summer, the Lakers were the team to give him a chance. However, the pairing may be short-lived. During preseason workouts, Cousins suffered a torn ACL.
With Cousin out, the Lakers faced a minor setback. They didn’t have a big man to protect the rim or be a presence in the post. That is until now.
After working out a few candidates, the Lakers have found their answer. They decided to sign former Wizard Dwight Howard to a non-guaranteed deal. Howard joins the Lakers after reaching a buyout with the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that the Wizards traded him to this summer. Without suiting up for them, Memphis and Howard reached a buyout agreement. Now, he joins the playoff-bound Lakers.
Howard’s deal with the Lakers marks his second stint with the team. In the 2012-13 season, the Orlando Magic traded Howard to the Lakers. Howard averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds during his time with the Lakers. His time with the Lakers lasted one season as he and Kobe Bryant clashed throughout the season.
After the 2012-13 season, Howard signed with the Houston Rockets. He stayed with them from 2013-2016. In his first game against Bryant and the Lakers, Bryant repeatedly called Howard “soft.”
Since then, Howard has been with the Atlanta Hawks, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Washington Wizards. He was also briefly with the Brooklyn Nets and the Grizzlies but left before playing a game for either team.
Throughout the years, injuries and a negative reputation (in the locker room) have hurt Howard’s career. The former high-school prospect with a bright future is no longer that. The Lakers signed him to a deal in hopes of finding a rim proctor and rebounder but signed him to the non-guaranteed contract. If the signing doesn’t work out, the Lakers lose very little. So, it works in their favor.
Howard’s deal is the fresh start he needs. If he can redeem himself, it will all be worth it.
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