A former Laker believes that a rival team has something to do with the Lakers’ apparent interest in Dwight Howard.

The Lakers-Howard talks were fuelled by the recent DeMarcus Cousins torn ACL incident. Immediately after Cousins’ injury, the former Lakers star’s name came out as a top alternative big man for the team. Howard is not new to Lakers as he used to play for the team several years ago. Lakers’ plan back then was to win a championship with Howard’s help. However, things between him and Kobe Bryant did not go well and eventually led to the center leaving the team.

Seven years after the sudden break-up, the Lakers appears to be giving Howard another shot to reunite with LA. But this time, the reason could be different.

NBA veteran and former Laker Jim Jackson appeared on ESPN’s “Speak For Yourself” to talk about the Lakers and Howard.

According to Jackson, Lakers’ interest to sign Howard is the team’s move to “keep up” with its LA rival, the Clippers.

“Is the Lakers interest in Dwight Howard proof that they are tryin’ to keep up with the Clippers? That’s what it is, because they have to be able to fill the void in regards to where they are at against their rival, who happens to be down the hall,” Jackson explained.

Jackson even said that for him, what the Lakers are trying to do with the Howard talks could be considered “a little bit” desperate. The former Laker defended his assessment by stating that signing Howard would somehow prepare Lakers in the future since the team isn’t sure if Anthony Davis will opt to stay next year.

“Moves like this to me, indicate, I’m not gonna say a desperation but in some aspects a little bit because now is the time they have to make a move. Because you would never know what’s gonna happen with AD after this year, LeBron is still in the backend of his career,” Jackson pointed out.

Jackson also noted that due to the said reasons, the Lakers’ only chance to compete is now. However, Howard could only be a good move for the team if he will be “mentally and physically” healthy.

Another NBA veteran doubts that Howard will be a good fit to the current Lakers roster. According to Jalen Rose, Howard is not ready to make the mental adjustments as an NBA veteran. This is also the reason why he doesn’t see Howard being able to gel with James and Davis inside the court.

Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard could play for his third team in three years next season. Reuters