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Los Angeles Lakers still evaluating the best candidate to replace DeMarcus Cousins

Photo via Flickr/Michael Tipton

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently searching for DeMarcus Cousins’ replacement after the big man suffered a torn ACL recently. There are four names that have cropped up as a possible alternative for the team.

Dwight Howard, Mo Speights, Joakim Noah, and Marcin Gortat are the candidates that can potentially sub for Cousins, although Gortat remains a rumor at the moment. Speights is reportedly going to have an individual workout session with the Los Angeles Lakers today to evaluate if he’s a good fit.

The 32-year-old wasn’t playing in the NBA last year as he signed a contract with the Guangzhou Loong Lions on July 2, 2018. There are a few benefits of adding Speights to the Lakers’ roster, with his spacing ability the most valuable among his skill set, SiverScreeAndRoll reported.

Los Angeles Lakers can utilize Speight’s three-point shooting

Speights is averaging a shooting average of 35.6 percent behind the arc, making him a venerable threat that could open up the floor for LeBron James. The Lakers weren’t banking hard on Boogie when they signed him but was planning on giving him significant minutes due to his three-point ability and playmaking skills.

Speights can satisfy the former but not the latter. Meanwhile, Howard is also being considered by the Lakers due to his strength, defensive ability, and his overall presence beneath the rim. The Los Angeles Lakers can definitely take advantage of this, especially when Howard is paired with Anthony Davis who’s also a remarkable operator inside the paint.

Los Angeles Lakers and the Dwight Howard problem

The problem with Howard is his attitude. It is widely accepted within the league that the 33-year-old is quite disruptive when it comes to his behavior, a factor that could pose issues in the locker room. Sure, the Lakers have James to rein him in potentially. But is the burden worth it for what he brings on the table? That remains unclear for now.

As for Joakim Noah, he certainly has the grit to fill Cousins’ shoes but doesn’t have the shooting ability to space the floor or the playmaking skills to disrupt a team’s offense. But given that the Los Angeles Lakers already have enough firepower as it is, Noah’s defensive contribution might come in handy. Whatever the case, we’ll be hearing from the team soon as these individual workout sessions go public in the coming weeks.

By J Russ Isberto
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