The Los Angeles Lakers had decisions to make on multiple players who helped the team win the 2020 NBA championship. One of those was big man Dwight Howard who was one of the biggest redemption stories of the entire NBA and played a crucial role during the playoffs.
After joining the team on a non-guaranteed deal and producing a great season under any role asked of him, Howard rightfully believed he earned himself a normal NBA contract. The Lakers were surely interested in his return but there were reportedly other teams in the picture as well.
Despite Howard tweeting about his return to the Lakers one hour into free agency, he instead has signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2020
Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Howard’s deal is only for the minimum, which coupled with a premature social media post, seemingly suggests the Lakers may have been who moved on from Howard.
The Dwight Howard contract in Philadelphia is for the veteran minimum exception of $2.6M, per league sources.
The cap hit is $1.6M
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 21, 2020
Howard was one of the most important role players on the Lakers last season, providing the team with a physical presence in the paint that they sorely needed. Many believed his career was over, but Howard proved he had plenty left in the tank and can provide a lot to a playoff team.
Though obviously not the player he was in his prime, Howard is still a difference maker in this league. His rebounding and post defense remains outstanding and his ability to finish at the rim has gone nowhere.
Last season, Howard averaged 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in just 18.9 minutes per game.
Lakers options at center position
Although JaVale McGee exercised his player option to remain under contract with the Lakers, the team is in need of a backup — or starting — center. L.A. has been linked to the likes of Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol and Tristan Thompson.
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