After signing a contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, Dwight Howard signs a non-guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Lakers with a clear message
In talks with Lakers management, coaches and teammates – including Anthony Davis – Howard sold himself as an eight-time All-Star at the end of this week, who had reached the "low point" in the words of a team source, promising that he would humbly assume responsibility for shooting down and blocking the Lakers.
He showed the Lakers that his surgically repaired back was healthy and that he had lost 25 pounds to get into better shape, and ultimately the Lakers chose him before Joakim Noah, sources said.
With DeMarcus' cousins likely to have lost an ACL tear in his left knee for the season and Davis holding back to play important minutes in the middle, the Lakers and Howard needed each other for a reunion of a miscast partnership, which hissed in the 2012-2013 season.
Howard has for years sold an almost annual idea of a personal renaissance and revelation just to infuriate coaches and teammates with behavior that shifted from egotistical on the place to childish and disturbing away from it. Since signing as a free agent at the Atlanta Hawks in 2016, Howard has traded three times and has twice renounced it. The Lakers will be his sixth team in five years – far from the All-Star and All-Defensive team appearances in Orlando and Houston.
The Lakers will hold leverage on Howard and be able to beat him ahead of Jan NBA's 7th deadline to guarantee contracts for the season at no cost to the team. The arrival of Howard raises the Lakers squad to a full 15 players. Due to his contract repurchase of the Grizzlies, which took him over in an off-season trade from Washington, he must cancel the waivers next week before signing in Los Angeles.
The Lakers have been Howard's fifth team since signing as a free agent at Atlanta in 2016. He has played with the Hawks, Charlotte and Washington – and was dropped out of stores in Brooklyn and Memphis without ever wearing a uniform. He played with Washington only nine games before the back surgery ended his season.