The Los Angeles Lakers were scrambling for another big man in the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins torn ACL and Bulls fan were sent into a collective panic at the idea of lifelong LeBron James (and Cleveland) agitator Joakim Noah joining forces with him in Hollywood.
Lakers completed workouts and meetings with Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah on Thursday and have Mo Speights at the team's facility today, league sources tell ESPN. Both Howard and Noah left impressions that they could be helpful to the team.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 23, 2019
Following a series of workouts with Noah and veteran centers Mo Speights and Dwight Howard, the Lakers have settled on Howard as their replacement for Cousins.
Dwight Howard's agent, Charles Briscoe of Briscoe Sports Group, has completed buyout with Grizzlies officials, and Howard will sign with the Lakers once he clears waivers, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 23, 2019
Howard was a member of the Washington Wizards before they traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a deal to acquire wing shooter CJ Miles earlier this offseason.
Over the 2018-19 season, Howard averaged 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.4 blocks per game and finished with the second-lowest PER (17.4) of his career. Comparatively, Noah played 42 games in 2018-19, averaging 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks per game and posted an 18.6 PER.
The Lakers deal with Howard is non-guaranteed and the Lakers have all the leverage in the deal as ESPN reported, they will be able to cut Howard before the NBA's January 7 deadline without any financial impact on the team.
Sources: Dwight Howard surrendered nearly $2.6M of his $5.6M guaranteed salary to Memphis in buyout. He can earn $2.6M on his vet minimum deal with Lakers -- if he survives on roster past early January. Ideal outcome for Grizzlies, who never intended to bring Howard to camp. https://t.co/uLglUip1JT
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 24, 2019
The move reunites Howard with the Lakers, with whom he played 76 games for in the 2012-13 season.
Howard was an All-Star during his first Lakers stint, averaging 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game but ultimately had an unsuccessful (in terms of championship aspirations) tenure in the purple and gold.
Updated look at the Lakers roster:
Talen Horton-Tucker pic.twitter.com/Xc6HZfhokU
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 23, 2019
The Howard-to-Lakers deal makes LA's roster full with 15 players in tow, so this officially ends any possibility of Noah teaming up with LeBron. Bulls fans can rejoice, for now.
Lakers sign Dwight Howard, ending the Joakim Noah-to-LA-possibility originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago