Dwight Howard to sign with Lakers after buyout from Grizzlies

Lakers Free Agency

Getty Rob Pelinka discusses the upcoming Los Angeles Lakers season at UCLA Health Training Center

Howard's $2.6-million veteran's minimum deal would become guaranteed if he sticks with the Lakers through January 10, the date all contracts are guaranteed through the remainder of the season.

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.

The room opened up for Howard when DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn ACL.

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The Lakers also considered Joakim Noah and Mo Speights.

Howard spent one infamous season with the Lakers, who acquired him from Orlando in August 2012 and teamed him with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in the hopes of building a championship-contending superteam. Howard was also reportedly able to lobby Lakers players and officials by admitting he had hit "rock bottom" a year ago.

Most recently in the 2018-19 season, the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year suited up in nine games for the Washington Wizards before missing the remainder of the season with a back injury. That year saw the Lakers underachieve relative to expectations with a 45-37 record, and they were swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs, the eventual Western Conference champions.

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The deal will return Howard to a team where had a disastrous first stint.

Memphis never meant to bring Howard to training camp, so the savings turns out to be a significant financial bonus for the franchise. The Lakers aren't the only team that has had trouble integrating Howard into their mix.

The last time Dwight was in Los Angeles, he left fans with an ugly taste in their mouths as he left them empty-handed as he made the move to Houston. Anthony Davis is capable of playing in the middle, but he prefers to play power forward.

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