KEY POINTS

  • Howard likely to be prioritized by Lakers this offseason
  • Cousins market value is no longer that high
  • Cousins could stick with the Lakers and heal up

The NBA season holds plenty of uncertainty in the air but the fact remains that teams will have to decide on who to keep and who to let go come to the offseason. At the end of the Los Angeles Lakers, they will have to choose from two big men - Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins.

Of course, most know that Cousins was waived by the Lakers to make room on their roster. But even if that were the case, there is the growing belief that Cousins is not entirely done in Hollywood. Unless some team picks him up, he continues to enjoy privileges with the purple and gold such as the use of facilities. But that could all change after this NBA season.

If no team picks up Boogie, the Lakers could just re-evaluate the 29-year-old center and see how well he has recovered from his ACL injury. But a new twist could unfold and he goes by the name of Dwight Howard.

As most know, Howard has been enjoying a redemption year with the Lakers coming off the bench. There is a chance he could jump ship (again) and test the free-agent market. It may not be a great scenario but the fact remains that Howard deserves to get more playing time and opportunities with teams who are in dire need of a center. However, the 34-year-old could pass up on that and remain in Hollywood - especially if they get the chance to win the NBA title.

If left to choose, Brian Windhorst believes the Lakers will opt to keep Howard over Cousins. The reason is pretty simple - Howard has shown his worth with the Lakers and is healthy while questions remain on the durability of Cousins. An air of uncertainty looms given the frequency of injuries that the 5th overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft has had the past years.

“I think that after a series of injuries he’s had, all of which indicates that he’s coming back too fast, doing too much, he needs even more time of coming back from this. He’s gonna have a job in the league, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big money,” Windhorst said.

Of course, these remain speculations. Cousins could still stay on but for lesser money. With three major injuries to his credit, the amount of investment other teams are willing to spend on him is no looking good. If that is the case, Boogie may want to choose the next best thing - a chance to win an NBA title while at the same time working himself back to shape.

Steven Adams Dwight Howard OKC Lakers Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dribbles past Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of a game at Staples Center on November 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images