Dwight Howard has performed admirably in his first season back with the Los Angeles Lakers, perhaps even well enough to stick around for another year.
Speaking this week on “The Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst said that he thinks the Lakers are likelier to keep Howard around to try to “squeeze another year out of him” than they are to choose “a mystery with DeMarcus Cousins.”
The 34-year-old Howard, who only signed with the Lakers on a one-year deal last summer once Cousins went down with a torn left ACL in August, has been one of the most pleasant surprises in the league this season. He holds averages of 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game on an elite 73.2 percent from the field and has willingly accepted a reduced role off the bench.
While it might have been the other way around just a few years ago, Cousins represents a much bigger gamble than Howard right now, especially with a 2018 left Achilles tear also in his recent injury history. The Lakers have said that Cousins is still “part of the family” since waiving him in February, but if there is only one roster spot up for grabs, Howard might be the smarter play.