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#pounditMonday, April 15, 2024

Former Lakers champion eyeing return to team?

Rob Pelinka at a press conference

Jun 6, 2022; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka speaks before introducing head coach Darvin Ham at UCLA Health Training Center Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Three separate stints with the Los Angeles Lakers might not be enough for one NBA veteran.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports reported this week that former Defensive Player of the Year center Dwight Howard would like to play for the Lakers again. Howard, 37, is eyeing a return to the NBA after spending last season in Taiwan with the Taoyuan Leopards.

After joining the Lakers via trade for the 2012-13 season and then leaving in free agency the following summer, Howard returned to the team in 2019. He was part of the Lakers squad that won the 2020 title but then left again in the offseason … before returning once more for the 2021-22 season. Now Howard appears to be trying for Round 4 in Tinseltown.

The Lakers, who need some more size off their bench after losing Mo Bamba in free agency, are openly pursuing frontcourt upgrades. The team obviously knows what they would be getting from Howard. But even he would require an adjustment since he has yet to play under Darvin Ham as a head coach.

Though Howard was statistically very stellar in Taiwan (23.2 points, 16.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game), the Leopards stank (going 6-24), and Howard ended the year very unhappy. At this point, Howard may be trying to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks in terms of a possible return to the NBA. Earlier this summer, Howard also said that he would be interested in joining a Lakers division rival.

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