If Howard doesn’t pan out for LA, OKC Thunder center Nerlens Noel offers perfect fit

Nerlens Noel #3 of the OKC Thunder, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nerlens Noel #3 of the OKC Thunder, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder: Dwight Howard (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Davis is the answer, but he’s not willing to play the five:

This will be Howard’s second stint with the Lakers and he’ll be hoping this time around he has a better experience. Still, there is uncertainty whether Howard will fit this team and whether he makes them as formidable in the postseason.

More importantly, Howard arrives with questions over his ability to be invested in playing every game, whether he’ll lose interest if he’s not getting scoring opportunities and if he can erase the perception of being a locker room cancer.

That’s not the only elephant in the room as the big question is why Anthony Davis wouldn’t play the five? It sure would make more sense to put him at the center position.

Especially because the best lineup (in my humble opinion) would feature LeBron James at the four with Kyle Kuzma playing the small forward role, Danny Green at the two and presumably Rondo at the one. That lineup would make the Lakers one of the longest and most formidable in the Association.

The issue is Davis is adamantly against playing the five. Frank Vogel could force the situation, but let’s not forget Davis is in a contract year and holds all the power. If the Lakers did force him into a role he doesn’t want he could threaten to leave in free agency.

And with so few elite stars available next summer that means he would immediately skyrocket to the top of teams recruitment lists. After the Lakers issues to land the top tier free agents in free agency this would be a blow to the franchise.

It was Anthony’s aversion to playing the five which led the Lakers to sign Howard. However, will his presence work with James and Davis? Fortunately, LA might have found a short term solution with this signing.

LA can start the season and see how Howard meshes with the team on and off the hardwood. If not, there are options for the Lakers. The most obvious one is playing a few months and getting to December 15th when players who signed this summer no longer have trade restrictions.