5:21 PM ET
After completing a contract buyout with the Memphis Grizzlies, Dwight Howard will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Lakers that comes with a clear message, league sources told ESPN: Disrupt this team — and you’ll be gone.
In meetings with Lakers management, coaches and teammates — including Anthony Davis — late this week, Howard sold himself as an eight-time All-Star who had hit “rock bottom,” in the words of one team source, and promised that he’d humbly accept the responsibility to rebound and block shots for the Lakers.
He showed the Lakers that his surgically repaired back was healthy and that he had lost 25 pounds to get into better condition, and ultimately the Lakers chose him over Joakim Noah, sources said.
With DeMarcus Cousins likely lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, and Davis reticent to play significant minutes at center, the Lakers and Howard found themselves needing each other for a reunion of a miscast partnership that fizzled in the 2012-2013 season.
For years, Howard has sold an almost annual idea of a personal renaissance and epiphany, only to infuriate coaches and teammates with behavior