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Dwight Howard is going to play an important role for the Lakers this season.
But it’s a role. Defend, grab rebounds, on offense set some picks and roll hard to the rim then catch any lobs thrown your way. That’s it. In his last few stops, Howard pushed back against this kind of smaller role, wanting more touches — and more touches in the post, where he is not efficient — and with that (and some leadership questions) becoming somewhat of a distraction. There’s a reason he’s bounced around the league despite putting up decent numbers for a few years in places such as Houston and Charlotte.
The Lakers have bet things are different, although with the non-guaranteed contract they gave him the Lakers have hedged that bet. They are betting he’s healthy — he only played nine games for the Wizards last season and had another back surgery — and they are betting he’ll accept his role. They are betting LeBron James and Anthony Davis can keep him in line. Howard is saying all the right things, but there are plenty of skeptics around the league because Howard has said all the right things before.
Laker coach Frank Vogel, in an interview on the Lakers’ local cable channel Spectrum Sports Net, talked about Howard and the Lakers’ hopes (hat tip NBA Rumors).