According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Dwight Howard will be bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies and intends to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. He still needs to clear waivers for the deal to be official.
Dwight Howard Intends To Sign With Los Angeles Lakers
The Orlando Magic selected Howard number-one overall in the NBA Draft out of high school in 2004. In his time with the Orlando Magic, the superstar center garnered three straight Defensive Player Of The Year awards. NBA stardom was born in Orlando by securing six NBA All-Star appearances. He also earned five consecutive First Team All-NBA nods (2008-2012) and four placements on the All-Defensive First Team (2009-2012). Howard was the Magic’s most accomplished player since Shaquille O’Neal. The superstar big man and the Orlando franchise came to an acrimonious end after notable behind the scenes and public clashes.
The Magic then dealt Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster trade in the 2012 NBA off-season. The move was widely heralded as the birth of a new Lakers superteam. Unfortunately, chemistry issues with Kobe Bryant and Howard’s lingering injuries prevented the partnership from succeeding. Howard left the Lakers for James Harden and the Houston Rockets in free agency.
He had one All-Star year with the Rockets during the 2013-14 NBA season, but the team never went deep into the playoffs. Since his days with the Rockets, Howard has had one-year stints with the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, and Washington Wizards. The Grizzlies acquired Dwight Howard for C.J. Miles via trade this off-season. He reportedly hasn’t stuck around because he’s too much of a headache for teams behind the scenes.
Second Chance For Dwight Howard With Lakers
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
ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported “the deal will be non-guaranteed,” which helps the risk factor in signing the at-this-point NBA journeyman.
The Lakers needed a backup Center after DeMarcus Cousins tragically suffered an ACL injury. Given the Lakers’ past with Howard and his history with the league, this move seems unnecessarily risky. Howard will likely start with a backup role at Center behind JaVale McGee, but in a vacuum, he has the talent to be a starter. He needs to battle for rebounds, protect the paint, and bang with bigger opposing Centers like Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic while Anthony Davis preserves his energy. His success with the Lakers will depend on his ability to be selfless and check his ego at the door. History says that’s not going to happen. Perhaps being kicked to the curb by five teams in four seasons has changed his outlook and approach to NBA basketball.