All of the attention is on Dwight Howard now after Avery Bradley recently informed the Los Angeles Lakers he will not be playing in the 2019-20 NBA season restart.
According to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times, the Lakers reportedly are optimistic about what Howard’s decision will eventually be come July 1.
“There is a belief around the organization that Howard is likely to join the team in Florida. If he does not, the Lakers could have another option at center. DeMarcus Cousins is still mulling whether he will return to the league for the remainder of the season or continue his rehabilitation from an ACL tear until the start of next season,” Ganguli said about Howard’s future and the team’s potential options.
Howard has been very vague about whether or not he will be playing in the league’s upcoming resumption, but he currently seems to be leaning towards suiting up.
In Howard’s 16th season, he has revived his career in Los Angeles while playing a crucial role in their 49-14 record through 63 games (best in the conference).
In 62 appearances (two starts), Howard is averaging 7.5 points (career-high 73.2 percent from the field), 7.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in just 19.2 minutes.
At 34 years old, Howard is also top-three in defensive (2.4), offensive (2.6), and total win shares (5.0) on the Lakers behind only LeBron James and Anthony Davis and totes the fifth-highest defensive rating in the entire league (102.0) right now.
Widely considered as the decade’s best center, Howard only needs one more thing to solidify his legacy as one of the greatest big men of all time: a championship.
Armed with James, Davis, and a slew of capable veteran role players, the 2019-20 Lakers are undoubtedly his best shot at achieving that since the Orlando Magic.
If Howard ultimately opts out, the Lakers will be in a very tough position since there is not a free agent capable of providing the same production that he does.
While Cousins is available, he has not yet decided on if he wants to play this season and totes a very extensive injury history in the past couple of seasons.
As the league’s deadline for players to inform teams draws closer, the Lakers will continue to await Howard’s official decision with the hope he joins them.