The Los Angeles Lakers have ushered in quite the homecoming in free agency this offseason by bringing back Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington Jr., and now Dwight Howard.
Like Ariza, Howard played a key role in securing his first ring with the Lakers during an unprecedented 2020 campaign. While his departure in the last offseason was a tough pill to swallow for fans, he showed that he can still make an impact during his brief stint with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lakers’ odds to win the Championship shifted dramatically with the trade for Russell Westbrook last week and remain steady according to most sports betting sites after these lesser moves. Currently, Los Angeles is +400 to win the 2022 NBA title, just behind the favorite Brooklyn Nets.
Bang for the Buck
Howard is now again in a position to provide the Purple and Gold with plenty of bang for their buck as they look to fill out the rest of their roster. It appears he is equally as excited about making his return taking to Instagram to demand that team get its long-overdue championship parade.
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This will be the third time that Howard and the Lakers were able to get a deal done. Howard, an eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA Team member, five-time All-Defensive Team member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year played for the Lakers during the 2012-13 season and returned in 2019 after stints with the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, and Charlotte Hornets.
The first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft managed to make up for the first failed experiment by winning a title in the bubble at Orlando, and he is now hoping to put the finishing touches on a successful trilogy. Howard was drafted straight out of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy Highschool in Atlanta, Georgia.
Howard certainly has good reason to be optimistic following his resurgence with the team last season. His lone season in Philadelphia showed he still has plenty of gas left in the tank after averaging 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
The Lakers have high hopes that Ariza and Ellington will be able to fill the void left in the shooting department with the departure of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso in free agency. They are now looking to Howard to support down low alongside Anthony Davis in the frontcourt rotation.
Lakers agree to deal with Wayne Ellington
With plenty of speculation regarding how they were going to fill out the roster following the blockbuster acquisition of Russell Westbrook, the Lakers have turned to familiar faces to get the job done. Even though Ariza and Howard boast a championship pedigree with the franchise, things are quite different from when Ellington was in town.
This season, the 33-year-old shooting guard out of North Carolina will have a chance to compete for something meaningful. The Lakers who are looking for shooting help will be looking for Ellington to repeat his 42.2-percent three-point success rate from last season.