Hours before Dwight Howard’s return to the Los Angeles Lakers was announced, several Lakers, including newcomer Anthony Davis, as well as JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo were present when the big man was working out for the team.
In the end, the three players were impressed by Howard, with the Lakers ultimately deciding to sign the eight-time All-Star to a one-year contract as a potential replacement for the injured DeMarcus Cousins.
Over the summer, Davis has stated over and over that he doesn’t want to play a lot of minutes as a center, which was one of the reasons why the Lakers decided to add another center to their roster instead of moving AD to the 5. As quoted by Silver Screen and Roll, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne explained this situation when she recently appeared on ESPN Radio’s The Stephen A. Smith Show.
“The reason that Dwight is a Laker is because Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play the five. He doesn’t want to play against the big centers in the Western Conference. He needs a big dude next to him that can eat up some of those minutes and take some of that physical pounding from Nikola Jokic or [Jusuf] Nurkic or any of the centers you want to name out West… Anthony Davis doesn’t want to be that guy, and so he had a big say in whether or not Dwight was going to be cast in this role for them.”
According to Silver Screen and Roll, both Davis and LeBron James have played a major role in the rebuilding of the team’s roster. Just like James, AD has been consulted in several times on personnel decisions, and Howard’s signing wasn’t an exception. It’s noted that the Purple and Gold try to have a ‘partnership’ with Bron and Davis, trying to prevent Davis from leaving via free agency in the summer of 2020.
The Lakers are set to have a good campaign after a very entertaining offseason that saw them become one of the biggest favorites to win the NBA title. They expect Howard to bring the help they need to overcome all their rivals on the way to the Finals. He had a bad first stint with the Lakers, but now it’s time for Howard to prove that he can actually help this team.