Dwight Howard's strange free-agency saga ends by not choosing Warriors

Marcus White
·3 min read

Dwight was, then wasn't, then was, now isn't Warriors option originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In about a five-minute span, the Warriors could've crossed off then added center Dwight Howard to their free-agent wishlist. A little over an hour later, they had to cross him off again. 

Charles Briscoe, Howard's agent, told The Athletic's Shams Charania that Howard has agreed to join the Philadelphia 76ers.

First, Howard tweeted he was returning to the Los Angeles Lakers. Then, The Athletic's Shams Charania tweeted that Howard had agreed to re-sign with the Lakers. After that, Howard deleted his tweet. Then, Charania deleted his tweet.

Soon after, Charania reported that Howard "continues to consider all his options" five minutes after his original tweet. Seventy-one minutes after that, Charania tweeted the news from Howard's agent.

The Warriors better not have used permanent ink.

Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes reported, citing league sources, that Howard believed he had a one-year, $3 million contract offer from the Lakers waiting for him. That deal was merely a "concept," Haynes' sources said, as the Lakers needed approval from ownership. When Howard didn't hear back, he agreed to join the Sixers.

Howard, 34, won his first NBA championship last season with the Lakers. He played a career-low 18.9 minutes per game in the regular season, but the 16-year veteran was effective platooning with former Warriors center JaVale McGee in LA's frontcourt. Howard averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in the regular season, as well as 1.1 blocks.

The Warriors pursued Howard as a free agent in 2013 when, coming off of his seventh consecutive playoff appearance, he spurned Golden State (and LA) to sign with the Houston Rockets. Howard has only appeared in one NBA All-Star Game since, but remains an effective defender and rebounder, and he would've been a nice depth option for the Warriors.

The Lakers signed Howard to a non-guaranteed deal last summer, only guaranteeing it last summer. He once again would cost just over $2.56 million on a veteran's minimum contract and, as a former No. 1 pick himself, perhaps could have had some wisdom to impart to rookie center James Wiseman.

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Howard remains a divisive figure, but he embraced his bench role with the Lakers last season and he has a ring to show for it. The Warriors weren't afraid to give players a chance in their culture, as previously signing McGee and Nick Young proved. After a year in which Howard said and did all the right things, his reputation is in a better place than either of those players' were when they joined the Warriors.

Well, at least it was before a particularly strange (and short) free-agent saga. It doesn't beat the Dwight Drama of 2013, but this year's was certainly a lot briefer.