Heading into the 2019-20 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers, DeMarcus Cousins was widely viewed as the team’s X-factor if he could return to All-Star form after two injuries.
To Cousins’ credit, he was doing his part during the offseason by getting into the best shape possible. Unfortunately, the 29-year-old later suffered a torn ACL.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 23, 2019
In addition, Howard will sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Dwight Howard's deal with the Lakers will be non-guaranteed, league source tells ESPN. Howard had several meetings with Lakers officials, and they'll give him a chance to show he's made changes in how he conducts himself. Lakers players were involved in process.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 23, 2019
At this stage of the 2019 NBA offseason, it was going to be difficult replacing Cousins. Along with Howard, the Lakers also worked out Joakim Noah and Marreese Speights.
As Howard returns to the Lakers for a second stint, there have been heated debates about signing him. Since Howard’s lone season with them and signing with the Houston Rockets, he has played for four different teams.
At 33-years-old and coming off injuries that limited him to nine games during the 2018-19 season with the Washington Wizards, it is unclear how much Howard has left in the tank.
While Howard was clearly the most talented one available, the Lakers made a smart move under the circumstances by signing him to a non-guaranteed deal. Although he has said the right things, on- and off-the-court issues have followed.