LeBron James made it clear that the Los Angeles Lakers were playing for their respect while securing their record-tying 17th championship in franchise history.
Among the notable players and personnel with something to prove was Dwight Howard, who put the finishing touches on a Hall of Fame resumé by winning his first title. This unprecedented season was quite the turnaround for Howard after spending the last five years on multiple teams.
He went from being bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies to providing the Lakers with plenty of bang for their buck by playing an integral role in their championship run after signing a non-guaranteed contract.
The resurgence from Howard has inevitably boosted his value in free agency. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers reportedly have competition from the Golden State Warriors:
Dwight Howard, who was a pillar to the frontcourt this season, and the Lakers have mutual interest in a deal. Among the contenders also expected to have interest in Howard, sources say: The Golden State Warriors.
It hardly comes as any surprise to see that another contender may be looking to poach Howard. Despite already boasting an elite resumé before this season, his efforts as a pivotal member of the Lakers’ frontcourt has helped other teams see him in a more favorable light and this will result in a solid payday.
The Warriors boast plenty of depth in the backcourt between Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson while Andrew Wiggins fills the wing. They are hoping that Howard can help fill a notable void down low alongside Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney.
Interestingly enough, Golden State was among the teams to help facilitate the small-ball era with “The Hampton’s Five” lineup that featured Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. However, it became evident throughout the playoff bubble that any team looking to defeat L.A. in the near future will need to be able to match up with their size and length.
The Warriors’ rumored interest in Howard also indicates that they are not looking to take a big man with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Even if they do not make a run for the 34-year-old, it is safe to assume that the Lakers may have their work cut out trying to bring him back at a bargain on the open market.
Anthony Davis expected to re-sign
Although Davis said he would take time to make a decision on free agency, it has since been reported the newly minted champion is expected to opt out of his current deal and re-sign with the Lakers.
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