Even though the Dwight Howard era in Los Angeles ended up as a massive disappointment, Howard still posted very good individual numbers in his lone season with the Lakers, and was one of the few players capable of making a true impact on defense.
With Howard gone, the onus will be on multiple players to fill the void he has left and two of the main ones will be big men Chris Kaman and Robert Sacre.
Kaman joined the Lakers on a one year deal for the mini mid-level exception of $3.2 million and he definitely brings a much more diverse skill set, especially offensively, than Howard. In speaking to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Kaman spoke on his differences from Howard, and thinks he and Gasol will be great together:
He’s an above the rim player,” Kaman said. “I can’t play above the rim […] I’m a similar player as Pau (Gasol). I think I’m inside and outside like he is. I complement his game well.
Sacre isn’t expected to contribute as much as Kaman on the floor, but with all the talk about chemistry, Sacre’s fun loving attitude and non-stop energy will really help keep the Lakers in positive spirits off the court as well, as he told Sports Out West:
Whatever my team needs me to do, I’m coming in and I’m bringing a lot of energy and fun with it. You need to have a little light party in the room. So I just have fun with it and enjoy myself.
The expectations for the Lakers are much lower than normal coming into this season, but if players like Kaman and Sacre are able to contribute consistently, the loss of Howard on the front line may not be as harsh as anticipated.
Make sure you check out our interview with Marcus Landry