What a summer it has been in the NBA.
Many people believe the West got considerable tougher.
And the Los Angeles Lakers got a lot of attention, per usual.
Now in late August, the Lakers are been talked about yet again.
Without DeMarcus Cousins in the mix for LA due to a torn ACL, the Lakers had been looking for its replacement candidate. In a revamped West, any injury has a ripple effect across the conference where just a few wins can mean the difference between home court advantage, the right match-up or a deep playoff run.
Friday afternoon, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers had found their man. Dwight Howard is heading back to Los Angeles.
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 are being cautious though as Howard has expressed he has been working on fixing his bad habits.
Lakers are entering a Howard partnership with caution. For years, he's talked about making changes in how he interacts with coaches and teammates. He's still saying those things now, but the ability to cut him without cost keeps leverage with organization. https://t.co/Q7i5NcAtJA— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 23, 2019
One thing is certain, the Lakers organization is looking at this upcoming season as a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs, if not win it all with the Warriors dynasty seemingly coming to an end.
[RELATED]: How the DeMarcus Cousins injury affects the Trail Blazers' chances in the Western Conference
There has also been so much buzz around Rip City. Could this be the year, Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy?
The Western Conference showdown this season could definitely be one for the record books.
The Blazers are scheduled to take on the Lakers three times this season. The first meeting is set for Friday, Dec. 6 at Moda Center.
A fun player matchup to watch between Portland and LA will be Howard against Trail Blazers new big man Hassan Whiteside.
In their eight, regular season games played against one another, the two are tied at four wins each.
In their most recent matchup on Nov. 10, 2018, Howard finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds, while Whiteside had 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Howard could prove to still be a useful big for the Lakers, or he could prove to bring more drama to La La Land.
Either way, now that Superman, who played for the Lakers from 2012-2013, is heading back to LA to now play with LeBron James, NBA fans are saying bring on the popcorn.