The NBA rumors were swirling for a while once the Los Angeles Lakers’ new big man DeMarcus Cousins suffered an ACL injury during practice. Now, it appears the speculation has come to an end as they’ve found their big replacement.
Fans are wondering if Dwight Howard has signed with the Lakers, and it appears the NBA center will soon do that.
Lakers to sign Howard to deal after a buyout
It was reported in recent days that the Lakers were offering workouts to several potential big men, including Joakim Noah, Mo Speights, and Dwight Howard. There were even rumors that former NBA player Hasheem Thabeet wanted to work out for the team, but that never materialized.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that both Howard and Noah left impressions they could be helpful to the roster. However, on Friday (August 23), Woj broke the news via his sources that Howard will sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Lakers. That will happen after a buyout from the Memphis Grizzlies and under the condition that if Howard disrupts the team, he’s gone.
Dwight Howard's deal with the Lakers will be non-guaranteed, league source tells ESPN. Howard had several meetings with Lakers officials, and they'll give him a chance to show he's made changes in how he conducts himself. Lakers players were involved in process.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 23, 2019
In a separate tweet, Woj said that Howard had lost 25 pounds when he showed up for the tryout with the Lakers. In addition, he displayed evidence of a healthy back, something that had plagued him. Woj said that the Lakers will give him a limited role as a rim protector and rebounder.
Howard humbled, returning to Lakers after previous stint
When meeting with the Lakers, Howard was reportedly a “humbled” former All-Star looking for another chance after hitting “rock bottom.” He’s played for six teams in his career, and five of them have been in the past seven seasons.
Howard’s most recent team was the Washington Wizards, where he played just nine games last season, the lowest total in his career. However, his season was cut short due to back surgery. He averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Following the season, Washington traded him to Memphis for C.J. Miles in July.
Prior to the Wizards, Howard had stints with the Hornets and Hawks, after a three-season run with Houston. His career began with the Orlando Magic, where he had six of his All-Star appearances and helped the team reach the NBA finals.
This won’t be Howard’s first rodeo with the Lake Show either. He joined the team alongside two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash back in the 2012-13 season. He was a major addition to the team as they looked to compete for a 17th NBA title with Kobe Bryant leading the way. Howard was an All-Star that season with averages of 17.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks a game.
Unfortunately, the team struggled and barely made the playoffs. Not only that, but Kobe Bryant became injured with a torn Achilles and was unable to help out in the postseason. The Lakers exited in the first round for the first time in years. Howard was gone after the season, as it was determined he was a poor fit for the club. Some said his relationship with team leader Kobe Bryant was rough from the start.
Now, he’s back, and this time with another of the greatest players in the history of the game on the roster. Los Angeles Lakers fans are looking forward to a redemption story for Dwight Howard with LeBron James and Anthony Davis as part of the adventure. The Lakers’ 2019-20 NBA season begins on October 22, 2019.