NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin and More

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard reacts from the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, April 7, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 113-110. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The NBA might be in its offseason hibernation, but the rumor mill never sleeps.

While teams do the bulk of their shopping in July, August is a time for backup plans.

From clubs searching for injury replacements and camp bodies to one player pondering a trip overseas, the latest basketball buzz features several plan Bs.


Dwight Howard an Option for Lakers?

DeMarcus Cousins' torn ACL sent the Los Angeles Lakers into an unexpected scramble. JaVale McGee is the only other traditional center on the roster, and the team reportedly wants to limit Anthony Davis' exposure at the 5, per NBA TV's Jared Greenberg.

They may find relief in a familiar place.

They share mutual interest with veteran center Dwight Howard, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. The eight-time All-Star spent the 2012-13 campaign with the Purple and Gold, and while that season had its share of turbulence, it was a different chapter of their story and his.

After an offseason move to the rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies, Howard needs a more permanent hoops home. The Griz have granted the Lakers permission to contact him and are expected to eventually release him, Charania reported.

Howard only made it through nine games last season and underwent spinal surgery in November to alleviate pain in his glutes. But in the year prior, he averaged a double-double (16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds) and played 81 games.

If his 33-year-old frame can withstand the rigors of an 82-game marathon, he could potentially give the Lakers valuable minutes in a timeshare with McGee.


Jeremy Lin Nearing Move To China?

In June, Jeremy Lin celebrated his first NBA championship. In July, he opened up about the difficulties of free agency and how felt "in some ways the NBA's kind of given up on me."

In August, he might be nearing a new basketball home, but it's not in the Association.

Sportando's Sonx Xiang reports Lin is in "advanced negotiations" with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. If that team name sounds familiar, it's because it's the same squad with which Stephon Marbury spent seven seasons.

Lin previously said he had considered playing in Asia, although at the time he wasn't interested in pursuing that option. But with roster spots filling up and training camps opening next month, maybe he senses his NBA door is closing.

After injuries wrecked most of his 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, he was healthy enough to make 74 appearances last season, which he split between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. But his three-point percentage plummeted (29.4), and he was effectively out of the Raptors rotation come playoff time.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old owns career averages of 11.6 points and 4.3 assists across 480 games.


Wizards and Justin Anderson Nearing Agreement?

Justin Anderson, the 21st pick of the 2015 draft, could soon add a fourth different NBA jersey to his collection.

He and the Washington Wizards are "working toward a training camp contract," per Fred Katz of The Athletic.

The 25-year-old boasts size, athleticism and a motor that never stops, but he has had trouble finding an offensive niche at this level. His four-year averages include just 5.3 points on 41.9 percent shooting (30.2 percent from three) and 0.7 assists per game.

Still, maybe he just needs the right opportunity to showcase his skills. With the Wizards perhaps facing a developmental season without John Wall, they might have the minutes and patience needed to get Anderson's NBA career on track.