NBA

Dwight Howard open to joining Lakers or Clippers

By Sports Desk July 14, 2019

NBA veteran Dwight Howard would be open to playing for the Los Angeles Lakers or the Los Angeles Clippers.

Howard played just nine games for the Washington Wizards last season because of a back injury that required surgery before he was sent to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies are likely to waive Howard – an eight-time All-Star – if they cannot find a reasonable trade for the 33-year-old center.

If Howard becomes a free agent this offseason and gets to choose where he plays next, he would consider a return to Los Angeles, where he represented the Lakers in 2012-13.

"I don't know what's going to happen, but I do love L.A.," Howard told the Los Angeles Times. "Staples Center is going to be rocking this season. When I played there it was rocking every night.

"The atmosphere is crazy, not just for the Lakers but the Clippers too. I just think all the hard work they've put in is paying off now. They've always been viewed as the Lakers' little brother, but they decided to stand out and be different and you have to thank guys like Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul for laying the foundation for this team, and then what Doc [Rivers] has done has been great. This is just all that hard work paying off."

Howard played for the Lakers for one season in 2012-13, hoping to form a super team with aging stars Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. That roster was underwhelming, though, finishing seventh in the Western Conference. They were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs and Los Angeles have not made the postseason since.

After parting ways with the Lakers, Howard played for the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Wizards. And the league has changed a lot since he last lived in Los Angeles.

The Lakers signed LeBron James in free agency last offseason and pulled off a blockbuster deal to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans this month. They also brought in Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins and some highly-regarded role players.

Although the Lakers did not make the playoffs last season, their new personnel make them one of the favourites to win the championship in 2019-20.

Then there is the Clippers, who signed 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and managed to convince the Oklahoma City Thunder to trade Paul George – spring boarding them into the championship conversation.

Howard still thinks highly of the Lakers, despite his short stint with the team.

"It just wasn't the right fit for me at the time," Howard said of his first season in Los Angeles. "But the Lakers have been doing something right for a long time because they have the most fans in the world and the most championships over the past 40 years. You're not going to win a championship every year, but they're back and will compete for a championship next season."

Related items

  • Zion Williamson reportedly set to miss start of NBA season with knee injury Zion Williamson reportedly set to miss start of NBA season with knee injury

    Zion Williamson's regular season NBA debut has been put on ice due to the New Orleans Pelicans rookie's knee injury, according to reports.

    The Pelicans confirmed on Thursday that Williamson, the number one overall draft pick, would miss Friday's final preseason game against the New York Knicks due to "right knee soreness".

    The 19-year-old instead remained in New Orleans for further testing and evaluation.

    ESPN reported on Friday that the issue was set to keep Williamson out for a number of weeks, meaning he would miss the start of the NBA season, although he was said to have avoided serious injury.

    Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters that the team believe Williamson hurt his knee on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.

    Gentry told ESPN the former Duke sensation remained in high spirits, though, adding: "He's not dead, guys."

    Williamson featured in four preseason games prior to the Knicks game, averaging 23.3 points.

    New Orleans open the 2019-20 season against defending champions the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday.

  • Zion Williamson to miss Pelicans' preseason finale due to injury Zion Williamson to miss Pelicans' preseason finale due to injury

    New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson will miss the team's final NBA preseason game with right knee soreness.

    The Pelicans will face the New York Knicks on Friday without young star Williamson, it was announced on Thursday.

    Williamson did not make the trip to New York and will remain in New Orleans to undergo further evaluation.

    In four preseason games for the Pelicans this season, Williamson – the number one draft pick – has averaged 23.3 points.

    The Pelicans open their regular-season campaign against defending champions the Toronto Raptors on October 22.

  • NBA veteran Luol Deng signs with Bulls to retire with team at 34 NBA veteran Luol Deng signs with Bulls to retire with team at 34

    Veteran NBA forward Luol Deng signed with the Chicago Bulls on Thursday in order to retire as a member of the team.

    A two-time All-Star from South Sudan, where he has worked to develop young basketball players, Deng was taken seventh overall by the Bulls in the 2004 NBA Draft.

    "He was a role model on and off the court during his nine-plus years in Chicago, and he gave everything he had to help us win," Bulls president and COO Michael Reinsdorf said in a statement.

    "I want to thank Luol for not only what he accomplished on the court for the team, but also for the leadership he demonstrated through his philanthropic efforts."

    In 902 NBA games over 15 seasons with the Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves he averaged 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.3 minutes per game.

    The 34-year-old averaged 15.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in 62 playoff games in seven postseasons, six with Chicago and one with Miami.

    John Paxson, Bulls executive VP of basketball operations, said Deng would be remembered for "the fierce competitiveness he brought to both ends of the floor every night."

    Deng ranks in the top five on the Bulls all-time list for minutes (fifth, 22,882), points (fourth, 10,286), field goals made (fifth, 3,987) and attempted (fifth, 8,675) and steals (fifth, 639).

    He led the Bulls in scoring in 2011-12 (15.3 ppg) and 2012-13 (16.5 ppg).

    The Bulls will honour Deng at a game to be determined later this season.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.