The Los Angeles Lakers will head into the 2019-20 NBA season with higher championship aspirations than they’ve had in nearly a full decade.
When a team has two All-Star players of James and Davis’ caliber, it’s often partially on them to help build the roster and approve the signings of certain role players. It was no exception when the two had to be on board for the Lakers to bring in Dwight Howard. The Lakers signed Howard to a non-guaranteed deal — much to the chagrin of Lakers fans around the world — following DeMarcus Cousins‘ injury.
James and Davis felt convinced to give Howard one final opportunity in the NBA after seeing a change in his mindset and approach to the game during his workout with the Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Lakers had gathered momentum in their own research into Howard over the past week, but needed the roster to be fully on board. Howard won over the players in the locker room, including James and Davis, for his approach and mindset in the visit, sources said.
Howard was able to do this by convincing them that his one and only goal was to win a championship, something that has alluded him his whole career. He also said that he’s willing to do anything that will support his teammates:
Howard’s excitement toward the possibility grew, and he made it clear privately his desire to play whatever role necessary for one goal: Winning a championship and supporting James and Davis in any fashion they need on the court.
For now, Howard seems to be saying all the right things. However, the league knows who he is and who he’s been for the better part of the 2010s. It’s likely the combination of these two things that convinced the team to give him a deal, but only a non-guaranteed one. So if the season starts and it’s the same old Howard, they can cut him at no cost.
If Howard’s words can turn into action, then Davis and James will have been right for trusting him as he could be a great addition to this team in a back-up center role.
Davis has been looking to play next to true centers his whole career, and there’s no need for that to change now.