And at this stage of the 2019 NBA offseason, Howard is still the most talented player available despite what has happened to him since his lone season in Los Angeles.
One anonymous league executive believes the Lakers should sign Howard despite the ‘personal baggage’ now, according to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype:
According to one anonymous NBA executive who spoke to HoopsHype, the low-risk, high-reward nature of such a deal, one that would be worth the veteran minimum if it does happen, would make it a worthwhile gamble for Los Angeles. “Personal baggage aside, I would sign him,” the executive said. “He’s clearly the best player available if he’s healthy. We’ve heard the same song from him for years [as far as changing]. But for the minimum? Why not? If it doesn’t work, they move on.”
Another executive believes Howard is ‘worth the risk’:
A second league exec polled by HoopsHype shared the same sentiment: “I think it’s worth the risk for them. If it doesn’t work out, they can cut bait.”
Following Cousins’ injury, the Lakers reportedly have already worked out and met with Howard and Joakim Noah as Marreese Speights will do the same shortly after.
As all three players offer different strengths and weaknesses, it will be interesting which direction the Lakers ultimately go in. While there are more options like Kenneth Faried, he has not been linked to Los Angeles at this time.
With general manager Rob Pelinka and company taking their time, the Lakers are still championship contenders. While Cousins is a significant loss, they still have Davis, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and a strong supporting cast.