The LA Lakers’ acquisition of Russell Westbrook has helped them become an attractive destination, with multiple veterans reportedly interested in joining the 17-time champs as per NBA rumors.
The Lakers have limited resources to work with, which has raised concerns concerning their ability to add more players around their star trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. They also have only five players under contract – Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie – being the other two players apart from the three All-Stars.
They only have the taxpayer-mid-level exception worth $5.9 million and veteran minimum exceptions to offer in free agency.
NBA Rumors: LA Lakers are a team to watch out for in 2021 free agency
The LA Lakers are now looking like the ideal destination for veteran players chasing a championship ring. As per Broderick Turner of the LA Times, Dwight Howard and Wayne Ellington are among the players that are interested in joining the Purple and Gold. Here’s what he reported:
“The Lakers need shooting. One name that is coming up is Patty Mills. He can shoot the lights out and would be great off the bench. Wayne Ellington is another shooter who has interest in rejoining the Lakers. Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala are veteran wings who are candidates. Carmelo Anthony is interested, just waiting on a call from the Lakers when free agency opens Monday. Guess who might be back for a third time? Yup, Dwight Howard is ready to return and play center. Jeff Green and Goran Dragic also are names to look out for.”
Dwight Howard has played for the LA Lakers twice in his career before. Both times he was only there for a season. The last time he was in the 2019-2020 NBA season was when he helped them win a championship. Last year, Howard played for the Philadelphia 76ers as a backup center for Joel Embiid.
Howard averaged 7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, playing roughly only 17 minutes per contest for the Sixers in the 2020-21 NBA season. He proved that he still has the legs and the athleticism he used to boast in his prime years. The LA Lakers were never able to replace him and the kind of defense he was able to provide them with.
Meanwhile, Wayne Ellington played for the LA Lakers in the 2014-15 season. Ellington has since played for four different franchises. He played for the Detroit Pistons last year, averaging 9.6 points per game. He is a terrific shooter and converted 42.2% of his shots from deep on six attempts per contest last season.
The LA Lakers need more scoring and shooting off the bench and also need backup guards. Ellington fits the bill here for the side.
Howard and Ellington are both likely to receive veteran minimum contracts. So the LA Lakers will have no problem financially getting their two former players on board for the upcoming NBA season.