Lakers Rumors: Dwight Howard to Compete With JaVale McGee for Starting Spot

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Last week, the Los Angeles Lakers made a splash when they signed former star big man Dwight Howard.

Howard, who has experienced a dramatic fall from stardom over the last several seasons, now has a real opportunity to regain the respect he has lost.

To do that, he’ll first have to beat out fellow Lakers big man JaVale McGee for a spot in the team’s starting 5.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Howard will get an opportunity to do just that.

“According to multiple witnesses to Howard’s workouts this summer, he appears fully athletic and healthy,” Charania wrote. “Motivation and health were the two most critical factors to any team deciding whether to take a chance on him. For the first time in years, Howard seems fully motivated and fully healthy. He will compete with McGee for the starting center job, and he explained to the Lakers that he’s ready to play as many minutes as needed and be a piece to help James and Davis.”

Howard was not even on the Lakers’ radar until big man DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL earlier this month. That injury forced the Lakers to sign a player who has not only relinquished much of his past ability, but who also has a fairly negative reputation around L.A.

Still, despite only playing nine games last season, Howard was able to put up solid numbers. In those nine games with the Washington Wizards, he averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

Compare that to McGee’s 12.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last season, and it seems there is going to be strong competition.

However, it has to be mentioned that McGee enjoyed those averages over 75 games played.

If Howard is able to recapture some of his past ability, the Lakers could end up with the steal of the summer. If he proves to have little left in the tank, it’s quite likely that he won’t remain in the Purple and Gold for long.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.