Lakers Rumors: Dwight Howard Interested in Playing with LeBron James

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, left, battles Charlotte Hornets' Dwight Howard, right, for position in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Veteran center Dwight Howard would consider a return to the Los Angeles Lakers once the Brooklyn Nets buy him out of his current contract.

According to USA Today's Sam Amick (h/t HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy), Howard would welcome the opportunity to play alongside LeBron James after James agreed to a four-year deal with Los Angeles, as Klutch Sports Group announced. However, Amick added it's unclear whether the Lakers would be receptive to a reunion with Howard.

By getting a commitment from James, the Lakers' focus immediately shifts to contending for an NBA title in 2019. Because of that, signing a center who averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks makes sense.

Looking only at the numbers belies how disastrous adding Howard could be for Los Angeles.

For one, his only season with the team ended in spectacular failure. The Lakers got swept in the first round of the playoffs, and Howard was ejected in the final game of the series. With Lakers fans riding such a high, the last thing the team should do is sign somebody who generally wasn't liked by the fanbase not too long ago.

Then there are the problems Howard has created at every stop of his NBA career. Eventually, he wears out his welcome with a team, and it's pretty telling he only lasted one season apiece with the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets.

The pressure on the Lakers players will be immense next year. The team can't exacerbate that problem by signing a player with a history of alienating his teammates.