While the Lakers are in the hunt for a big man following the unfortunate ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins, the market for available options is pretty thin. The Lakers still have JaVale McGee on the roster – who is capable of giving quality minutes as a starter – but they are lacking any sort of depth as their roster is devoid of any other true center. One popular option is former Laker Dwight Howard, who is expected to be bought out by the Grizzlies soon and would seemingly be the best available option left.
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Lakers Dwight Howard Reunion ‘Not That Likely’, Says Analyst
Despite what looks to be an extremely strong fit for both sides, ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst feels that the Lakers and Dwight getting back together might not be as realistic of a possibility as it seems.
Tossing another Lakers’ target, Joakim Noah, in the mix with Howard as well, Windhorst questioned their ability to stay healthy, citing the injury risk that both players bring to the table. While Noah certainly fits the bill of “injury-prone” that Windhorst brings up, prior to last year, Howard played in over 70 games for each of the four previous seasons, including 81 in 2017-2018. While not as young and spry as he once was, Howard has been a mostly durable player aside from three seasons across his 15 year NBA career.
Other Lakers Big Man Options After DeMarcus Cousins Injury
Aside from Noah and Howard, there are a few reasonable options that the Lakers could look into. While none offer much of a “sexy” pickup, some of the veteran names that are still on the market could be capable of providing 10-15 quality minutes per game off the bench.
Kenneth Faried seems to be one of the more popular options among Laker fans and on the surface it makes sense. Faried showed he could have a solid impact when given extended run on the Rockets last season and somehow is still available to be scooped up on an affordable deal. One of the few big men left in their athletic prime, Faried seems to offer a ton of upside – though he may not fit exactly what the Lakers are looking for.
As currently constructed, the Lakers don’t have an answer for a traditional bruising interior big man. While JaVale McGee and Anthony Davis have the height, both players aren’t as sturdy as the Jokic’s and Embiid’s of the league and are prone to get bullied around down low. Aging giants like Zaza Pachulia, Andrew Bogut, and Nene Hilario still populate the free-agent market and should the Lakers decide they want to stock up on another big body, they should have a few different options to choose from.
However, like Windhorst thinks, if the Lakers are trying to get younger, their options seem to shrivel up. Deyonta Davis looks to be a potentially interesting option as a rim-protector off the bench though things fall off after Davis with names like Isaac Humphries and Angel Delgado being some of the only big men under 30 still on the market.