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NBA Free Agency 2020: Dwight Howard agrees to one-year deal with Sixers

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Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).