The Los Angeles Lakers are rebuilding their team following the exit of Kobe Bryant and the entry of a much younger coach, Luke Walton. Fresh off a disappointing 2016 NBA Finals, where the Golden State Warriors squandered a 3-1 lead to succumb to LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers, the young coach is expected to attack the incoming basketball season with a vengeance. To start off the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to sign Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets and Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat to max contracts.
"It's a hard job, there's times you've got to be tough on them, but it's more than just basketball when you're the coach, it's your job to make sure that everything is going well with them and that you can have these types of talks with your players, and you let them know you care about them and you are in this to help them out," shared Luke Walton of his role in the NBA team. The former Golden State Warriors assistant coach added, "It's not about you when you're a coach and it's about the players and it's about getting the best out them and I think they respect that and they respond well to it."
Reports revealed that Dwight Howard decided to opt out of his contract with the Houston Rockets. Throughout the NBA 2015-16 season, the Jason Terry team have been reportedly looking into ways to trade the former Orlando Magic star. Given his purported failure to mesh with James Harden, the Houston Rockets' star player, Howard was expected to be released by the offseason.
One of the most problematic issues for a Dwight Howard trade is his asking price. In a league filled with healthier, cheaper and younger NBA stars, basketball teams are thinking twice about investing on the Houston Rockets star especially with his reported issues playing alongside James Harden. However, it looks like the Los Angeles Lakers have no problem giving Howard his demands.
The Los Angeles Lakers are brimming with young talent. With the departure of the Black Mamba, the Jordan Clarkson team lacks a leader with solid veteran experience and wisdom in the hardwood court. Hence, the idea of signing Dwight Howard is an attractive prospect for the D'Angelo Russell squad.
Aside from Dwight Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers are also reportedly planning to sign Hassan Whiteside. The Miami Heat star, who unexpectedly burst into the NBA scene during the absence of Chris Bosh, is one of the most widely sought after free agents this July. While the Dwyane Wade team had been vocal of their desire to re-sign Hassan Whiteside, rumors are rife that the Los Angeles Lakers are strong contenders to convince the center to opt out of his current group.
"There is a sense that Whiteside is one of the top names on the Lakers' wish list of free agents, with the Celtics also interested," revealed Steve Kyler of the Basketball Insiders. He added, "The problem with trying to peg either as having some edge over the other neglects that Whiteside could be the most obtainable free agent in the class and likely gets a lot of interest beyond those two suitors."