Dwight Howard lands his perfect role
Meaningful minutes, very little attention
BY DAVID THORPE
In July, the Lakers shipped off almost every tradable draft pick and young player they had for Anthony Davis. He’s an MVP-caliber big man. But he prefers not to play center, and he has the right to leave for another team next summer—keeping him happy is paramount. So they really needed starting center DeMarcus Cousins to be at his best.
Then, in mid-August, Cousins tore his ACL. The Lakers’ options diminished. Play Davis outside his preferred position and risk angering a player who recently forced his way off a different team? Or pray for relief from a free-agent pool that, by mid-August, is essentially the NBA’s “scratch and dent” pile?
They chose option B.
After starring in Orlando for eight seasons, Dwight Howard had struggled to make a difference to any of his next five teams. He had disappointing turns with the Rockets, Lakers, Hawks, and Hornets. Last year, he looked like he was moving well, but his advanced stats were terrible and only nine games into life as a Wi…