Lakers explore deals for Noah and Howard
DeMarcus Cousins is out for what looks like most of the season, which is a big deal for the Los Angeles Lakers. The centre has a long history of recent injuries, and the latest one to afflict him could put a dent in the Lakers’ title ambitions before the season even begins.
They have therefore been exploring what other options are out there in free agency, even though many of the bigger names will have moved on to other clubs in the meantime.
JaVale McGee is one of the players they currently have on roster who can play centre, while Anthony Davis is up to the task but is much more suited to playing as a power forward, and they will limit what he can achieve for the team if they make him sit deeper.
Now, they have two former All-Star centres in the mix, with Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard under consideration, though some sources suggest that they are also looking at Mo Speights and Marcin Gortat.
All of these potential acquisitions are undergoing workouts with the Lakers team at present while they decide which ones seem most suited to being able to deliver a season for a title-chasing team at centre, with all the demands that come with it.
Howard still has a contract with the Grizzlies, which could make things more complicated, but he is far from the first-choice picture in Memphis, who have been turning towards youth this offseason.
Meanwhile, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue, who almost ended up replacing Luke Walton at the Lakers instead of Frank Vogel before the summer began, has now confirmed that he will be taking up a post as assistant at their cross-city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lue was one of the favourites to take the reins at the Lakers, having won the NBA Championship in 2016 with LeBron James, but terms could not be agreed. He will now be a force for one of their big opponents this coming season, and takes up a familiar post, having served under Doc Rivers for the Clippers in 2013/14 and also when the pair were at Boston a couple of years earlier.
It will be a chance for Lue to rebuild his reputation after having been sacked last season by the Cavs when they lost their first six games in a row.
Words: Josh Dixon