It was reported on Thursday that the Los Angeles Lakers were planning to work out free agent center Marreese Speights on Friday, and so the main other shoe we were waiting for to drop in the team's search for a big man to replace DeMarcus Cousins was to see when the front office would take closer looks at Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah.
Well, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, that's already happened, and both workouts went well:
Lakers completed workouts and meetings with Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah on Thursday and have Mo Speights at the team’s facility today, league sources tell ESPN. Both Howard and Noah left impressions that they could be helpful to the team.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 23, 2019
The Lakers still don't have an official deadline they have to replace Cousins by, but the expediency with which they've conducted this search does seem to heavily imply that the team would like to bring in whatever big man they're going to add to fill Cousins' role before training camp.
That approach makes some level of sense. For one, the Lakers are going to need whoever they add to develop chemistry with the rest of the team if they want to be greater than the sum of their parts this year, and it also gives whatever player they sign more time to get used to their role in Lakers head coach Frank Vogel’s system on both ends of the floor.
Now, which player should they add, if they’re as set on choosing between these three as they seem to be? It depends on what exactly they value. Speights would give them more spacing than the other two options, while not providing much else. Howard likely has the highest upside, but also the longest injury history. Noah perhaps best replicates Cousins’ skillset of these three options, but still doesn’t come close to fully approximating what Cousins could have brought (something that none of these guys can do, to be fair).
Joakim Noah averaged 2.1 assists in 16.5 min per last year for MEM. The Laker centers combined for 2.4 a game. Does a nice job on handoffs (2.3 screen assists per), in transition or operating at the top of the key. A potential nice boost in playmaking for the club. pic.twitter.com/D2lkAE9paw— UnwrittenRules (@UnwrittenRul3s) August 19, 2019
Wojnarowski’s tweet doesn’t give us a clear indication of what Howard and Noah showed, or who is the leader in the clubhouse right now, but based on how fast this process is progressing so far, it appears we very likely may get some answers soon.