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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:57 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers & Dwight, Gamble or Gambit? 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:58 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      From the above article:

      Never a franchise to resist swinging for the fences, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have smartly hedged their bet and limited their downside while gambling Dwight Howard could help fill their loss of DeMarcus Cousins.

      While expecting Howard to actually grow up and become a contributing force on the floor and tolerable member of the locker room would seem to be a long shot, the Lakers have set smart parameters for the experiment. Dwight’s ‘prove it’ contract is non-guaranteed deal, which means they can cut him anytime before January 7th without cost to the team. Howard has also been sternly warned: disrupt this team any way— and you’ll be gone.

      What the Lakers have essentially done is give themselves a chance to test Howard as a replacement for DeMarcus Cousins until December 15, when most NBA free agents signed this summer become eligible to be traded. Should Howard fail to be a viable replacement for Boogie or turn into a pariah in the locker room, the Lakers could simply cut him and move on, something that would clearly signal the termination of his NBA career.

      To Dwight’s credit, he seems to finally understand this is his last chance and failing this test and the opportunity to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and possibly win an NBA championship would be the end. He sold himself as an eight-time All-Star who had hit ‘rock bottom’ and promised he would humbly accept his role as a rebounder and shot blocker. He showed he was healthy, had lost 25 pounds, and was in great shape.

      Unfortunately, that might not be enough to prevent Howard from making the same mistakes on the court and in the locker room that transformed him from being an MVP candidate to a player no one wants on their team. Obviously, Dwight must have shown the Lakers a big enough glimpse of how he might help the team in a joint workout with Noah and Speights to convince a skeptical front office and Anthony Davis to give him a chance.

      I still think it’s a long shot Dwight will work out but the Lakers have done a good job creating a situation where he will get an opportunity to save his career and earn a contract and spot on the roster for the rest of the season. If he can somehow miraculously help the Lakers win a championship, it would be one of the most surprising and rewarding stories of what’s sure to be a season to remember. I wouldn’t put money on it but I will root for him.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 7:36 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think it’s a long shot as well.
        I may be rooting for him after the first few months- AFTER he proves himself.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 8:44 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      On the other hand, he has 12 baby mommas and frequents tranny s*x clubs, so he’s a stand up guy with character!!!

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:52 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One thing that wasn’t specifically discussed in any of the articles I’ve read is what Howard’s role on the Lakers will be. I would guess he has to start out being the backup center to JaVale McGee. If so, his role would be to feast on second string centers as a roll man off the pick-and-roll, shot blocking rim protector, and beast on the boards. If Dwight can just be satisfied with that as a critical first step, I could see great benefit for the Lakers, especially if he’s really healthy and in condition. The 25 pounds he lost is a great sign, just as the 29 pounds that Boogie lost was. Quickness is a key to protecting the rim.

      The bigger challenge for Howard may be his mental willingness to accept that role and not wanted to start or get touches that should go to other better offensive players. I have my doubts as to whether a jerk can really learn and change and not become a jerk. History is not on Dwight’s side but it there’s a situation where it could happen, playing on a team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis might be it, especially when reality has made it obvious that this is likely his very last chance to stay in the NBA. I mean he’s really reached ‘rock bottom’ when he’s competing for the 15th roster spot with Marreese Speights and Joakim Noah, two guys who are already on the NBA’s over-the-hill jump heap.

      • John M.

        John M. 12:05 PM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Another thing that hasn’t been discussed is how them free throws are lookin’. Poor, is my prediction. Maybe they have a plan for that, like yanking him when they’re over the limit :)

  • DJ2KB24

    DJ2KB24 7:31 PM on August 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Very sad day, relatively speaking, for Indy Colts fans as Andrew Luck has had enough physical and mental pain, is retiring from the NFL. : (

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:17 PM on August 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers players asked Dwight if he can be trusted guarding Embiid, other top centers 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:05 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    There’s only one way to spend 8/24: A Mamba Marathon! 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:45 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Pop cuts Kyle Kuzma for minor ankle injury! 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:51 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kuzma averaged the third most points, shot 58.3% from the field and 71.4% from deep but was still cut by Lakers hating head coach Greg Popovich. Only game Team USA lost was game Kuzma didn’t play. Way to go, Pops. Reminds me of how you blew it with Kawhi’s injury and horrible trade to keep him from Lakers. Once winner, you’re now a becoming a sore loser.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:01 PM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Of course, the guy Popovich chose to keep over Kuzma was the Spurs Derrick White, who has played and shot horribly and may have suffered a concussion last night. Or Smart who’s only played one game and shot poorly. Or Plumlee. FU Greg Popovich.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:16 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Team USA final roster announced. All 4 Celtics made it. Kuzma did not 

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:48 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink |  

    Thoughts on Dwight Howard…

    -Biggest issue is his credibility. From this:

    To not disclosing his first back surgery prior to camp when he first became a Laker. That, for me, is issue #1. The fact that they made him parade himself in front of the team…for a non-guaranteed deal…says a lot to me. The re-dedication to conditioning says more. Speaking of which…

    -Losing 25 pounds. If true than that’s the best way to add years to his career at this point. Signals an admittance to accepting his role: finisher, paint protecting stalwart, rebounder. We’re talking 20ish mpg, solid P&R finisher when he chooses to be, potentially still an impact defender. Unlikely to finish games. Not unless his defense warrants it. Switching, not paint.

    -AD signing off. To put it mildly, this is huge. Odd that Rondo was included (or was it?) and a new Laker identity begins to take hold. But having AD and LeBron sign off basically signals an acceptance to give it a shot that hasn’t happened for Dwight in awhile. For a guy who has always pulled strength from being liked it could be the one thing that helps push him from problem to productive.

    -Non-guaranteed contract? Best part about this experiment. It can last until 1/06/2020, 11:59 PM PST. If it’s not happening…bye-bye Dwight. We thank you for your effort. Howard has a lot to gain and little more to lose, obviously. The mere fact he’s in this position of signing a NGC and was chosen over Maurice Speights or the theory of signing Carmelo Anthony is huge. Means the Lakers are bending over backwards to accommodate AD with an eye towards defense over scoring. Fit over friends. That, to me, is a good thing. Speights and AD are to duplicative. Noah? Too…Joakhim Noah but old and beat-up. If Howard is going to be our Clint Capella but with some savvy and a goofier personality? Fine.

    All in all, I’m still just really bummed I won’t truly ever see Boogie doing his thing proper like in the purple and gold. Always felt like it was going to be a beautiful relationship. Just seemed like an inevitable kind of destiny. Sometimes that’s just not enough.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:31 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great post, Jamie. While I was hoping the Lakers wouldn’t sign Howard, I have to say that I’m impressed with how they involved key players and structured the deal so that it was essentially just a three month trial to get them to the December 15th when they would have the potential ability to make a trade to improve the roster and set clear parameters as to what Howard can and cannot do this time around. Like I said, I still doubt Dwight will be here long but he’s saying the right things and was willing to accept the conditions so I’m willing to root for him as long as he does what he’s supposed to on the court and in the locker room. Bottom line, Lakers made a savvy gamble and I’m hoping it will work out despite my bias and doubts.

      As for Boogie, I feel badly for the man and I hope the Lakers have faith that he can recover. While everybody assumes he’s done as a Laker, I was impressed with Boogie losing 29 pounds and getting into great shape and think there’s still a chance for the Lakers to find a silver lining in the form of his injury giving us a path for us to keep him long term. I would like the Lakers to keep him on the roster and then sign him again for next year if he’s healthy. Two years service would then give us his early Bird rights. If he has a good year, we sign him again for a third year, which gives us his Bird rights. If he’s back to 80% of his preinjury form by then, we could sign him long term to pair with AD.

      The 15th roster spot rarely makes a difference and a little trust and patience could result in the Lakers ending up with a perfect stretch five center to optimize AD, not to mention an example to Davis of how the Lakers treat and appreciate their stars. Boogie is the guy AD wanted to play with and investing just a little could be what keeps AD happy and willing to re-sign with the Lakers long term. Who knows, Cousins could recover and be able to help the Lakers in the playoffs next June. If we get a shot at Iggy, I’d rather cut somebody like Daniels than Boogie.

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:56 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Totally agree on Boogie, LT. Hope they keep him and we see him take the floor as a Laker. Howard is basically a no-lose situation and I have to say Robbie O has done very well this summer, at least on paper.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:35 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    Here’s how Lakers & Dwight came together and meeting that won over LeBron and AD 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:00 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    “They had everybody w/ him from mgmt, coaching staff, Frank Vogel, Jason Kidd." 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:21 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    LeBron’s presence could makes Dwight Howard be a good fit for the Lakers 

    • mclyne32 (Director) 5:33 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t.
      I’ll start trusting him IF at the midpoint of the season, he hasn’t caused any drama.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:00 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You won’t have to wait that long, Matt. The way to think of Dwight is as a 3-month trial that gets us to December 15th. If Dwight has proved his worth, then we will keep him and on Jan 7th his contract will become guaranteed. If he hasn’t, he will be cut and we will then look to trade for somebody to take his place. Howard hasn’t been given a spot of the team and the only way he’ll be here after Jan 7 is if he does everything right. Otherwise, he’s history.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:15 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    Howard humbled, lost 25 lbs, signed non-guaranteed deal, and has been 'warned.' 

    • mclyne32 (Director) 5:31 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He’s been saying that he’s “been humbled” for YEARS.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:01 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        True, but this is literally his last chance. If he blows this, he’s done for good.
        Problem is that may not be enough to make him change and behave.
        That’s why this is still probably a long shot. Once a jerk, always a jerk.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:10 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers’ Low-Risk Dwight Howard Signing Still Comes with Plenty of History 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:06 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers’ roster was fascinating w/o Howard, now it could be even more explosive 

    Dwight Howard is back on the Lakers. Barely. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Howard will get bought out by the Grizzlies and sign with the Lakers. Howard, you may recall, spent a tumultuous 2012-13 season in Los Angeles that began with an infamous Sports Illustrated cover declaring Now This Is Going To Be Fun (narrator: It was not fun) and ended with him leaving in free agency despite billboards beckoning him to STAY. The Lakers have not made the playoffs since.

    Howard reportedly worked out with the Lakers on Friday morning alongside Mo Speights and Joakim Noah (don’t ask me how much I would pay for video footage of this), and it appears Howard showed the most to earn himself a shot. It’s not much of a shot, however. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the deal is nonguaranteed, and it hinges on Howard showing that he’s “made changes in how he conducts himself.” Ramona Shelburne added that Howard met with Lakers players—Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, and Anthony Davis, per The Athletic, as well as top assistant Jason Kidd—and “convinced everyone that he’s genuine in wanting to play the role the Lakers need.” As Woj ominously put it in another tweet, “he’s been warned.”

  • John M.

    John M. 2:59 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    Adrian Wojnarowski

    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.

    • John M.

      John M. 3:00 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply


    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 3:16 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Noooooooooooooooooooo……..*camera zooms out in slow mo*

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 3:37 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Guess we will see.

    • John M.

      John M. 3:42 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      After completing a contract buyout with the Memphis Grizzlies, Dwight Howard will sign a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources have told ESPN.

      An agreement on Howard’s buyout has been reached, league sources said.

      The Lakers will hold the leverage on Howard and can cut him before the NBA’s Jan. 7 deadline without cost to the team. Howard moves the Lakers’ roster to a full 15 players.

      The necessity to sign Howard came with a possible season-ending ACL injury to free agent center DeMarcus Cousins.

      The Lakers will be Howard’s sixth team since signing as a free agent in Atlanta in 2016. He’s played with the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards — and been waived after trades to the Brooklyn Nets and Memphis without ever wearing a uniform.

      He played only nine games with Washington before back surgery ended his season.

      Howard played one season for the Lakers in 2012-13, then spurned them for the Houston Rockets in free agency.

      At least the expectations will be lower…

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 4:05 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The only silver lining I guess is that this is basically his last chance. His career is on the line. If that doesn’t motivate him nothing will. His contract isn’t guaranteed so it’s pretty much put up or shut up for him.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:06 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This comment from Shams says it all:

        “AD, JaVale and Rondo wanted to know if they could trust him.
        They left convinced of the new Howard.”

        Lakers have done what they could to give this a chance to work.
        Very low risk and high reward move with Jan 7 deadline.
        Best option for Lakers until December 15 trade limit ends.

        • John M.

          John M. 10:49 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          One thing to bs your way to a contract. Quite another to try it with your peers. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s a Laker now, and all who wear the uniform deserve that, imo.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:54 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Good point, John. I never thought there was any way I would do anything but revolt against Dwight playing for the Lakers but I give them credit for how they approached and structured this situation. Low risk, high reward long shot.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 4:18 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I hope fans boooo him at the first game.

      • John M.

        John M. 4:19 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        And it motivates him.

        • John M.

          John M. 4:25 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          You don’t wanna be the guy to get the stinkeye from both Kobe and LeBron, and six teams in 4 years is nothing to gloat about :)

          • mclyne32 (Director) 4:29 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I just don’t know what’s going to make him get it and change. He hasn’t so far. Hopefully, he realizes this is his final shot and gets his act together.

            • John M.

              John M. 4:37 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink

              In meetings with Lakers management, coaches and teammates who included Anthony Davis late this week, Howard sold himself as an eight-time All-Star who had hit “rock bottom,” in the words of one team source, and promised that he’d humbly accept the responsibility to rebound and block shots for the Lakers.

              He showed the Lakers that his surgically repaired back was healthy, that he had lost 25 pounds to get into better condition, and ultimately the Lakers chose him over Joakim Noah, sources said.

              With DeMarcus Cousins likely lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, and Davis reticent to play significant minutes at center, the Lakers and Howard found themselves needing each other for a reunion of a miscast partnership that fizzled in the 2012-2013 season.

              For years, Howard has sold an almost annual idea of a personal renaissance and epiphany, only to infuriate coaches and teammates with behavior that moved from selfish on the court to childish and disruptive off of it. Since signing with the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent in 2016, Howard has been traded three times and waived twice. The Lakers will be his sixth team in five years — far from the All-Star and All-Defensive team appearances with Orlando and Houston.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 5:14 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink

              You know what they say about talk…
              We will have to wait and see based on his actions.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:03 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      • John M.

        John M. 5:17 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Notice LeBron wasn’t mentioned, but there’s really no need.

        • John M.

          John M. 5:34 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Wonder if they’ll have a presser to announce his return. That could go either way pretty fast.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:49 PM on August 23, 2019 Permalink |  

    Pete Zayas breaks down how Danny Green will impact the Lakers’ defense 

    Green’s man defense is a bit surprising for a player who’s touted as a defensive specialist. He struggles to keep players with a quick first step in front of him due to his size and meager lateral quickness. But he’s considerably more effective as a pick-and-roll defender, fighting over screens and bothering ball-handlers with back pressure. His ability to do that pairs perfectly with the rim protection of Davis and JaVale McGee.

    He’s significantly better as a team defender, sporting exceptional spatial awareness and using his length to help protect the rim and contest jumpers. He can be guilty of losing his man at times in these situations, and also sometimes gives up open threes as a result of over-helping, but his help defense does much more good than harm.

    These attributes manifest themselves in different ways against the various scorers in the Western Conference. Green’s length helps to limit the number of step-back jumpers that Harden takes, and forces Harden into floaters as rim protectors lurk in the paint. Donovan Mitchell, Lou Williams, and Luka Doncic are all favorable match-ups for Green as well. Players who can neutralize Green’s length tend to have more success against him. Some do that with size and craft (DeRozan, Russell), while others do it with speed and quickness (Curry, McCollum).

    Green is an excellent defender, but my mind can’t help but wonder what this team’s defense would look like with Andre Iguodala on the team. Iguodala is a better point of attack defender than Green is, so his presence would push Green into more the help/team defense situations that he thrives in. We’ll see if the Lakers can eventually pair them, but for now, Green will at least help a defense that needs all the positives it can get.

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