Lakers deliver replacements for DeMarcus Cousins' replacements Man broke his ACL during a pickup game in Las Vegas last week. The choices are slim. Joakim Noah is available! Only better than the experiment in re-animation was this: the Lakers sought permission from the Memphis Grizzlies to talk to one and only Dwight Howard.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Grizzlies were reported to be all very happy. to give the Lakers permission to talk to a player they have no real interest in maintaining. Ramona Shelburne was quick to resent this development with a report describing the Lakers' interest as an important exploratory, with no particular interest in Dwight, specifically. That should not matter much – for how Howard has been overthrown these days, no one out there is more understanding, unless the team is determined to use something like a traditional center. When you get Dwight and Noah, it's not before your search takes you to Amir Johnson and Tyler Zeller and Salah Mejri, and nothing more.
Howard was bombed out with the Wizards last season after signing an inexplicable one-plus- one contract (a guaranteed year plus one year of player selection) following a really bad season of empty production in Charlotte. He is not healthy in Washington. The closest he came to healthy was an ambling, tough, tied to the floor, permanently grimacing nine total production games, all of them before the end of November. His rebounds and scoring are justified, but his rim protection numbers are alarming – a career low of 0.6 blocks per 36 minutes – and the Wizards, a fiery catastrophe, are a complex 15.3 points per hundred bad badges with him on the floor during his brief spell of "good" health. In addition, he probably cost Ernie Grunfeld his job.
That doesn't mean it won't work in Los Angeles. Howard, like literally every free agent in the world – has been reported to be very good this summer, and he will be playing with his best teammates for four years. He said he wants to be some lucky Draymond Green team. It could be the Lakers! Think of it! Plus, remember, the last time the Lakers made the playoffs, their center was a Dwight Howard. What a good gesture! God, please make it happen.