It appears like Dwight Howard will be making a return to the Lakers for the first time since 2012-13, when he spent one season with the team.
The Grizzlies are negotiating a buyout with the big man, who plans on signing with Los Angeles afterward, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 23, 2019
Howard will sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Lakers, according to a report from ESPN.
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
Los Angeles lost DeMarcus Cousins to an ACL tear earlier this month, leaving JaVale McGee as the only active center on the Lakers’ depth chart. Howard, Joakim Noah and Marreese Speights were also considered as potential replacements for Cousins.
Howard, 33, averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Wizards last season but only appeared in nine games because of a back injury he suffered early on in the year. He was traded to Memphis following 2018-19.
The Lakers have seen some major turnover on their roster, as they traded Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and multiple future first-round picks to acquire Anthony Davis to pair with LeBron James.
Los Angeles finished last season with a 37-45 record and missed the playoffs and will look to improve upon that mark with its new personnel in 2019-20.