What might have been the beginning of a new era for the Lakers became a summer of almost. They almost signed Kawhi Leonard, but he instead joined the Clippers. They had made their first choice for head coach Ty Lue almost but the negotiations failed and he joined Doc Rivers' staff. But not all was desolate when the dust had settled. The signing of Danny Green and the possibility that DeMarcus's cousins might return to size gave the Lakers an equally good chance of winning the title.
They could still do it, but every path to fame is trodden without boogie, who tore his left ACL last Monday. Thanks to two major contracts (LeBron James and Anthony Davis together make up more than 50 percent of the US cap this season), some bad decisions in the past (paying Luol Deng $ 5 million a year to stay out of the team) and According to the NBA rules, which restrict the trade in players acquired by a free agency before December 1
On Tuesday Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Lakers workouts were planned with three big men: Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah and Marreese Speights. None of the three is a good choice to fill the void left by Boogie, who himself was a backup plan. Unfortunately, these are the lemons of the Lakers, lazy and abscessing. Here is a look at which of the three candidates has the best chance of making lemonade.
Why It Might Work
Dwight still shows insights into the talent that once made him a single candidate for the Generation Center. He only played nine games for the Wizards last season, but had a double double and a 17-point rebound of 25 points in November against a competent Brooklyn team. In the penultimate season, he scored an average of 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Hornets, recorded 53 double doubles and had the second 30-point 30-rebound show of the century.
If Howard Can Overcome the Glute After an injury that kept him out most of last season, he could possibly offer the Lakers a powerful option from the bank. He is not the rim protector he once was, but his nose for the boards (he was fifth in the NBA in the rebound rate between 2017 and 18) and his sheer size (scientifically speaking, he is an absolute unit) make him one Praise threat. Dwight's first spell in purple and gold did not work, but in a reduced role, there is reason to believe that his second might work.
Why he does not work
Forgive me, but I've heard this story ago. In 2012-13, Dwight graced the Staples Center with his presence … and immediately ended the Lakers dynasty. Along with Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, Dwight was to herald the next generation of Los Angeles dominance over the league. Instead, their lonely season together led to many fights, a first round through the Spurs, and a notorious cover of Sports Illustrated .
The situation was no runaway for Howard. As my colleague Rodger Sherman explained last summer, Dwight may be the least popular player in the league. On the way out of Orlando he burned bridges and ended in an awkward press conference with Stan Van Gundy. He was struggling with the Rockets, Hawks, Hornets and Wizards, and his Lakers era will probably be more memorable for this picture than anything he did on the field:
Howard is still technically under contract with the Grizzlies and most recently on 18 November 2018 he played a professional basketball game. A few weeks later, he was operated on the lumbar spine to treat the injury to the gluteal muscles. Traditional tall men over 30 who trust in their sportiness rarely become more agile with age. The Lakers are in this situation because they have made a bet on a once-dominant center with a litany of injuries. If you add another one to the fight, your car crashes into a light pole, securing it, and then driving in front of you a second time. And that's before Dwight's considered less than outstanding dressing room history.
Why It Might Work
After a sad end to his tenure at the Knicks, Noah experienced a rebirth in Memphis last season, an average of 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 16 , 5 minutes per game. After Marc Gasol was sent to Toronto for Jonas Valanciunas, Noah scored even better, scoring 11.3 points in 55 percent shooting and 7.8 rebounds per night in an increased role.
Of the three candidates, Noah is the strongest presence in central defense. He logged 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes last season, along with 1.0 steals and 12.4 boards. And unlike Howard, he's no big responsibility on the free throw line as he shoots a career 70 percent off the track. He may not be presenting the blanket Howard has, but he has a higher floor. For a team with already two superstars on the forecourt this could be enough.
Why It Does not Work
Before Noah reappeared with the Grizzlies, he, too, was hurt. He has played only twice in his career 80 games, most recently in his last All-Star season 2013/14. Since then, he has played only 47 percent of his potential games, and in the last four years he has had as many seasons as less than 30 games with less than 30 games.
Like Howard, he is not a threat from beyond the arc after he had never scored a 3. Although he shoots well from the free throw line, he gets there much less often than Howard. And with JaVale McGee already on the list, it's hard to see what McGee could add in minutes.
Why It Might Work
Mo & # 39; Buckets is the only player in the field with championship experience to win a ring in 2015 with the Golden State Warriors. Like his former teammates from the Bay Area, Speights has a knack for knocking down the long ball and shoots 35.6 percent from the air for his career. He scored 37 per cent of his 3-point points at 4.5 tries per game for a Magic Team with an overburdened apron in the years 2017 to 18 and could offer a distance of 5 points from the bank, the LeBron and Co. much Space for driving allowed the rim.
Speights does not offer much in terms of rim protection or board collection, but its offensive contributions eclips those featured by Howard and Noah. You can never have too many shooters – especially if they are tall and play for the veteran's minimum. Speights has never played fewer than 52 games in one season (his record in 2017-18) and could be an ideal substitute for a Lakers squad with a lackluster bench.
Why It Does not Work
Remember Kyle Kuzma? The only non-LeBron player the Lakers really wanted to keep? They sent Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart to fetch Davis, but Kuzma was the young player they had retained. Last season, Kuzma built on his already impressive rookie campaign, which scored an average of 18.7 points and shows the versatility of playing both forward strikes and moonshine as a center for small balls. Almost everything Speights can do Kuzma, but better.
Mo is slightly taller (6-foot-10 and 255 pounds over Kuzma's 6-foot-9 and 220-pound) and shoots slightly better off the bow (35.6 percent for his career compared to Kuzma's 33.5 Percent), but he would be a layoff for LA. Above all, like all other potential Lakers signings, he prevents Head Coach Frank Vogel from vacating his best forecourt. Do not think about it, Frank. Just play LeBron at 4 and Davis at 5.