It’s been exactly four days since the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2021 NBA Championship, which is apparently all the grace period you get these days before offseason speculation gets underway.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania fired the first shots of what will be a very interesting offseason – partially because we don’t know when exactly next season will start – with a report on possible destinations for free agents from both NBA Finals teams.
Included in that report was one important piece of the Lakers title squad who Charania said is expected to draw interest from the Golden State Warriors: Dwight Howard.
Howard made the most of a one-year, $2.6 million veteran’s minimum deal with the Lakers, becoming a key piece off the Los Angeles’ bench – he averaged 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds, but made his mark showcasing the defensive abilities that earned him three pieces of NBA Defensive Player of the Year hardware.
He’d be a welcome piece to the Warriors as they look to challenge the Lakers next season (whenever that is) and have something to throw at L.A.’s size – the only center listed on Golden State’s roster currently is Marquese Chriss, who isn’t really a center, but is very much 6’9″.
According to Charnia, the Lakers will pursue re-signing Howard as well, in part because they could be thin themselves along the front line: Markieff Morris is a free agent, and head coach Frank Vogel preferred for much of the regular season to keep Anthony Davis at the four. JaVale McGee can opt into the last year of his contract with the Lakers, and would be the Lakers’ only true five under contract.