LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Lakers are planning to sign the Dwight Howard Center after making a purchase from Memphis, said a person familiar with the decision.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Friday because the agreement was not reached to allow Howard to make an unlikely return to the Lakers six years after his bitter departure.
The selection of the eight stars will be the apparent replacement of the center DeMarcus Cousins, who recently tore a ligament of the knee after signing with the Lakers as a free agent last month. The cousins could be sidelined throughout next season, and Howard will join JaVale McGee and Anthony Davis to play the central Lakers.
- Howard spent an infamous season with the Lakers, who bought him from Orlando in August 2012 and joined him with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol in hopes of creating a super-crew that will compete for the championship.
Although Howard played bravely despite his injuries, he also faced Bryant, coach Mike D’Antoni and other players in the locker room before this bad season ended on a first-round sweep. Howard averaged 17.1 points and led the NBA with 12.4 rebounds in his only season in Los Angeles.
Howard left the Lakers as a free agent in July 2013, rejecting a $ 118 million deal to join Houston for much less. He was booed by Lakers and Clippers fans on every return trip to the Staples Center.
Howard’s departure coincided with the start of the worst six-year period in franchise history for the Lakers, who have been 16-time champions, and have not returned to the playoffs since they left. But Howard has not prospered recently since his match: he was the second NBA team for the Rockets, but had injury problems and finally left the free-agent position in 2016.
Howard was with six franchises in the six years following his departure from Los Angeles, although he never dressed for Brooklyn or Memphis. Howard signed with Washington last summer, but he needed spinal surgery and had played only nine games with the Wizards, who replaced him with the Grizzlies last month.
Howard will have a complementary role in another Lakers list with superteam aspirations. Los Angeles has traded much of its young core to acquire Davis over the summer and will join LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and newcomers, including Danny Green and Avery Bradley.
Davis says he prefers to play a role of great power during most of his minutes. The Lakers wanted two NBA centers to do the thankless job of defending the low position and protecting the tire. Cousins’ last serious injury forced them to make an unlikely selection to join McGee on paper.