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#pounditFriday, August 12, 2022

Important Lakers player unlikely to return to team?

Jeanie Buss looking on

Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss before the game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center. Bulls won 118-110. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A promiment player could be leaving the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason … for a third time.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported this week that Lakers big man Dwight Howard is unlikely to be back with the team next season. The eight-time All-Star is on his third stint with the Lakers and even won a championship with them in 2020 but will now be an unrestricted free agent.

Though Howard, at 36 years old, is very far removed from his zenith, he was actually one of the Lakers’ most consistent contributors last season. He put up a reliable 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in just 16.2 minutes per game as the team’s primary backup center (and even got his number called for 27 total starts when Anthony Davis was hurt).

Along with Howard, Carmelo Anthony, another frontcourt player who got heavy run off the Lakers bench, is an unrestricted free agent. That may be why the Lakers have this well-known big as one of their offseason targets.

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