Report: Lakers to work out Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Marreese Speights in search of backup center

Dwight Howard
Dec 28, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) and Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) battle for a rebound during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With DeMarcus Cousins tearing his ACL, the Lakers are in search of a backup center. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the Lakers are planning individual workouts of Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah and Marreese Speights.

Howard is still under contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, who will work with him on a buyout if he finds a team to sign with. The two sides reportedly have “mutual interest” in reconnecting after Howard infamously left the Lakers after one disappointing season.

The Lakers are also reportedly considering Marcin Gortat, who is currently playing overseas. Gortat spent last year with the Clippers, appearing in 47 games. Speights is a surprise name to pop up in their search as he last played in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Guangzhou Long-Lions. Speights has not been in the NBA since the 2017-18 season when he played in 52 games for the Orlando Magic.

Noah is arguably the top player in the grouping having just had a resurgence with the Memphis Grizzlies last year after being considered washed up during his Knicks tenure. Howard did not see the floor much last season as he dealt with injuries but averaged a double-double the previous year with the Charlotte Hornets.

For the Lakers, this is a matter of doing their due diligence to find the optimal replacement for Cousins.

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