According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles "completed workouts and meetings" with the duo on Thursday and the two "left impressions that they could be helpful to the team."
Wojnarowski also mentioned that the Lakers brought in free agent Marreese Speights on Friday.
Howard, 33, averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in nine games for the Washington Wizards in an injury-shortened season due to glute and hamstring ailments.
Noah, 34, posted 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies. He impressed off the bench and even posted his highest player efficiency rating since 2013-14, per Basketball Reference.
Either player could provide minutes at the five, although the situation down low isn't dire considering the Lakers have a six-time All-Star forward/center in Anthony Davis who can easily fill that position.
On the surface, Noah seems like a better fit than Howard despite the latter player's better scoring and rebounding production.
Of note, Noah is a much better facilitator (20.6 percent assist rate last year vs. Howard's 2.6 percent) who can keep the ball moving to the Lakers' top scorers, such as LeBron James, Davis or Kyle Kuzma.
On the other end, Noah is the better defender right now. He finished 16th in defensive real plus-minus last season, per ESPN.com, while Howard ended 38th. Team defense is an area for improvement, as the Lakers finished just 15th in efficiency last year, per ESPN.com.
ESPN's Jalen Rose believes Noah should be the pick, as he explained on Get Up!:
Of course, Howard can still be a productive player: He nearly averaged a double-double in just 25.6 minutes per game last season.
However, as far as placement in the Lakers rotation goes, Noah seems to check off more boxes.