Report: Dwight Howard agrees to join Lakers for third time of his career

Dwight Howard is returning to the Los Angeles Lakers. For real this time.

The veteran big man has agreed on a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Howard played all of last season with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The move sets up Howard for a third tenure in Los Angeles, after separate one-year stints in the 2012-13 and 2019-20 seasons.

Dwight Howard has some history with the Lakers

Howard's disastrous first go-around with the Lakers needs little introduction — you may remember friction with Kobe Bryant and a torn labrum. That season arguably marked Howard's downfall from his status as one of the most feared big men in the league. Howard's next season with the team six years later was his redemption.

Joining the Lakers on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, Howard was everything the Lakers wanted in a backup center and provided a positive locker room presence by all accounts. He averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while anchoring the Lakers' second unit on defense, rebuilding his value as a premium bench player.

That effort earned Howard his first career championship ring. He apparently enjoyed the experience enough that he intended to re-sign with the Lakers last offseason, until ... fate intervened. Howard seemingly tweeted an announcement of his return to the Lakers, until he quietly deleted the tweet and signed with the Sixers instead. It later emerged Howard never received a formal offer from the Lakers, who ended up with a big man tandem of Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell instead.

You'd imagine they made sure there's a formal offer this time.

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