Dwight Howard is officially heading back to the Lakers.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Howard has reached a buyout agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies and intends to join the Los Angeles Lakers once he becomes a free agent.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 23, 2019
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Howard’s deal with the Lakers will be non-guaranteed. The team intends to make him prove both his ability to contribute and his improved ability to interact with both players and coaches if he wants to remain a part of the roster.
Dwight Howard's deal with the Lakers will be non-guaranteed, league source tells ESPN. Howard had several meetings with Lakers officials, and they'll give him a chance to show he's made changes in how he conducts himself. Lakers players were involved in process.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 23, 2019
The 33-year-old spent last season with the Washington Wizards but only played nine games for them after undergoing spinal surgery early in the year. Howard’s last full season came with the Charlotte Hornets, where he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
The room opened up for Howard when DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn ACL. He’ll provide frontcourt depth for a Laker team that expects to be significantly better in 2019-20.
The Lakers will be Howard’s fifth team since he signed as a free agent in Atlanta in 2016. He has played with the Hawks, Charlotte, and Washington — and been waived after trades to Brooklyn and Memphis without ever wearing a uniform. He played only nine games with Washington before back surgery ended his season.