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NBA Trade Rumors: 3 players the LA Lakers can target to replace Dwight Howard if he decides against resigning

Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST
Modified 03 Nov 2020, 01:26 IST
Rumors
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In his second stint with the LA Lakers, Dwight Howard's long wait to win an NBA championship finally came to an end as the legendary franchise beat Miami Heat 4-2, in the Finals.

A free agent this offseason, Howard will have to make an important decision, for the second time; a decision which has led to massive NBA Trade rumors surrounding the Los Angeles franchise.

Howard proved himself worthy, against prominent men in the league such as Nikola Jokic in the Western Conference Finals.

However, Howard's name has been surrounded by multiple NBA Trade rumors since early July, ever since he spoke about being unable to join the LA Lakers in the Orlando bubble.

Even though he finally decided to join the team and won a championship with them, the trade rumors haven't stopped.

Dwight Howard unsure to resign with the LA Lakers amid NBA Trade Rumors

In his 16th year in the league, Dwight Howard has turned things around for himself. After his acceptance in the 2020 Playoffs by the LA Lakers, he is no longer an asset to be traded but rather a player teams want.

Howard's numbers across the statline have fallen significantly, yet his value to the team has never diminished.

Coming off the bench, the 34-year-old veteran locked the opposition's men and provided crucial offensive boards and blocks.

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Many teams have realized that a man of his skill might be key in helping their franchises win the title.

The LA Lakers franchise signed a non-guaranteed deal with Howard, giving them the authority to cut him at any given time.

Considering Howard might not resign with the franchise in the offseason, these 3 players can be his potential replacements.

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins in the 2019 NBA Finals - Game Six
DeMarcus Cousins in the 2019 NBA Finals - Game Six

DeMarcus Cousins signed with the LA Lakers while recovering from a torn ACL injury.

He was officially on their roster for the year but never played a game for them. Post recovery, Cousins is looking to sign with the LA Lakers.

While recovering, the star center apparently formed great chemistry with the Lakers' roster. Despite being officially waived by the LA Lakers, he was seen putting shots up at the UCLA Health Training Center with the team's coaching staff.

Frank Vogel, Head Coach of the LA Lakers had this to say about the center earlier in February.

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“He’s become part of our family, so he’s going to be around. On the bench trash talker, yeah he’s been that for us,” Vogel said. “He’s got a good pulse on what our group is going through. There was a game where he challenged LeBron to be more aggressive ... He’s contributed to our culture, and we’re excited that he’s still going to be around in a different capacity while he’s here rehabbing.” - Frank Vogel

Howard wasn't their star player, he came off the bench, occasionally started, and gave the team crucial blocks and rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins, coming off an injury, could do the same for the franchise and could be a viable replacement for Howard. Given his rapport with the squad and coaching staff, he could assist the team in their second consecutive title run.

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol with the Lakers in 2010
Pau Gasol with the Lakers in 2010

A name that would surprise many, Pau Gasol played for the LA Lakers for 7 seasons averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, he also won the championship in 2009 and 2010 with Kobe Bryant.

Gasol has been down with a foot injury since last year and has expressed his desire to play his final years with the Lakers franchise.

With many fans expecting his number 16 jersey to be retired by the team and Kobe Bryant saying, "I didn't win those rings without him", he has cemented his legacy with Los Angeles fans.

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Gasol could provide critical rebounds and assists, coming off the bench, he would be a good replacement for Howard as a veteran center who has won with this team before.

Steven Adams

Steven Adams
Steven Adams

At 26 years old, Steven Adams is the best center in this list of replacements for Dwight Howard.

There have been NBA Trade rumors about Steven Adams potentially getting traded from the OKC Thunder with the team trying to rebuild.

Heavy.com's Sean Deveney, said the Thunder are seeking "a draft pick and a young player" in return for Adams.

Steven Adams, with his time in Oklahoma, has become a fan favorite.

His numbers have consistently increased since his first year with the franchise. With Howard possibly leaving, Adams would be the ideal replacement for him and might even find himself in a starting position.

Published 03 Nov 2020, 01:26 IST
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