The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to a one year-deal with free agent center Dwight Howard, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Dwight is coming off a championship season with the Los Angeles Lakers, during which he averaged 7.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 18.9 minutes. Howard is far from the player he was in the late 2000s/early 2010s, but he was a very reliable backup center for the Lakers last season. With Dwight behind Joel Embiid in the rotation, the Sixers can be confident that they’ll have the front court personnel necessary to protect the rim at all times.
Bobby Marks is reporting that Howard is coming to Philadelphia on a non-guaranteed veteran minimum. Terrific signing in my book, as a low risk option and leaving the Sixers with access to the mid-level exception.
The Dwight Howard contract in Philadelphia is for the veteran minimum exception of $2.6M, per league sources.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 21, 2020
The cap hit is $1.6M
Howard previously played for the Houston Rockets under a Daryl Morey-led front office and its likely the connection played a strong part in luring Howard to Philly and away from the Lakers. In fact, earlier this evening, Howard had actually tweeted out that he was committed to the Lakers, only to delete the tweet shortly after.
Dwight Howard tweeted that he was staying with the Lakers— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 21, 2020
He deleted the tweet almost immediately
Then he was reportedly weighing his options.
And finally agreed to a deal with the 76ers lmao pic.twitter.com/B5IGKL1Nc6
Philadelphia is... a free agent destination?! Ok, let’s not get carried away just yet.
UPDATE: With Howard departing L.A., the Lakers are now pursuing Marc Gasol, per Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Marc Gasol has emerged as a free-agent target for the Lakers to fill the void created by Dwight Howard's departure to Philadelphia, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 21, 2020
Maybe I’m reaching here, but if Gasol leaves Toronto for L.A., that makes the signing of Dwight just a bit more valuable. Gasol is one of the few bigs in the NBA that gives Embiid trouble. Now, it sounds like he may be leaving the Eastern Conference.
UPDATE: The Lakers have agreed to a deal with Montrezl Harrell.
Free agent Montrezl Harrell has agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, agent Rich Paul of @KlutchSports tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
Maybe Gasol won’t be going to L.A. after all. This also exlains why Howard left L.A. with an interest in finding more playing time elsewhere (Philly).