Yesterday, Dwight Howard made his return to the Lakers by signing his contract according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. It was also announced that Howard will wear no.39 for the Lakers. There have been reports that Howard made a very good impression with his workout with the Lakers, and that he’s been made aware that he’s got to do his part. After Cousins suffered a ACL injury, the Lakers needed another big man to replace him. The Lakers considered Howard, along with Joakim Noah and Mo Speights to fill that need.
Ever since Howard left the Lakers in 2013, he’s played for for 4 other teams in a span of 6 years. Howard left the Lakers in bad terms, and decided to go to Houston after just one year in Los Angeles. After three years with the Rockets, he went on to the Hawks, Hornets, and Wizards. This past season with the Wizards, Howard only managed to play 9 games. With numerous injuries throughout his career, it was back injuries and surgeries that diminished Howard. He’s never really been the same. At his peak with the Orlando Magic, Howard had his best numbers in the 2010-2011 season averaging 22.9 ppg, 14.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg, and shot 59% from the field. These days Howard is a shell of himself, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. All the Lakers would need from him is to play some defense, alter some shots and rebound the ball. His offensive skills won’t really matter as James, Davis, Green and Kuzma can carry the load.
Howard’s contract with the Lakers is not guranateed, so if he doesn’t produce or causes problems with chemistry, they’ll eventually waive him. The Lakers are approaching this cautiously, as they don’t want any drama with any players. Also according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Davis, Rondo and McGee spent time with Howard in the team’s practice facility to determine if they could trust him.
Howard’s signing is very low risk for the Lakers since they can cut him if they if they feel he isn’t the right fit. Howard didn’t leave make much of an impression on Lakers fans the first time around, but maybe this time he can redeem himself and help the Lakers get into the playoffs and possibly make a deep run.