The fallout for the Lakers from DeMarcus Cousins’ ACL tear is coming into focus in Los Angeles. And it’s not pretty.
Aside from the obvious basketball tragedy that is Cousins’ now injury-riddled career is the challenge the Lakers face trying to replace him. With the prime NBA free agency period long over, the answer for the Lakers is to resort to desperate measures.
Those measures include auditioning a cast of NBA centers whose games and ages are relevant for basketball in 2009, not 2019.
Aging centers reportedly getting a look with Lakers
Howard, Noah and Speights all have scheduled workouts, while Gortat may audition with the team after returning from Europe, according to the report.
Speights, 32, is the youngest of the bunch and the only one to hit more than six 3-pointers over the course of his NBA career. After connecting on 22 3-pointers over the first nine years of his career, Speights advanced his game, hitting 213 over the last three seasons at a 37.2 clip.
Howard, Noah and Gortat — each 33 or older — have all aided their respective aging out of the league by neglecting to develop skillsets outside of the post expected of modern NBA big men.
Howard’s game was becoming less relevant when he didn’t work out for the Lakers the first time — and that was seven years ago.
But the Lakers desperately need a body to rotate with JaVale McGee, and this is what they’re left with in late August.
One of the four is likely to land with the Lakers, who have their sights set on an NBA championship after landing Anthony Davis in the offseason.
Trotting someone like Noah or Gortat out in a playoff series wasn’t part of the original plan. But now, barring a miracle trade, there won’t be much choice.
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