Free agency got off to a very weird start for the Los Angeles Lakers and Dwight Howard. For a brief moment, it was reported that the two sides came to an agreement on a new contract and Howard even went so far as to tweet out the news. However, he quickly deleted the tweet and then rumors came out that he was still weighing his options.
It was then reported within a couple of hours that Howard was signing with the Philadelphia 76ers. Later, it was reported that a miscommunication is what led to the two sides parting ways. Regardless, the whole thing didn’t make a lot of sense but both sides have moved on. Howard recently decided to give further insight into the situation.
“At one point, I did,” Howard said when asked if he thought he was re-signing with the Lakers, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “That’s when you saw the infamous tweet, because I really thought I was going back. But it was no offer.
“And I understand it’s a business. The Lakers did what they felt was in their best interest, and I’m just very thankful for them giving me an opportunity to come back to L.A., and to just have an opportunity to win a championship.
“It’s very difficult, but everything happens for a reason. I’m super excited about my purpose on this team, and moving forward.”
The Lakers eventually signed Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell as two guys who can play center. Howard will go to a 76ers team that will be able to offer him more minutes.
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Howards Talks Changing Teams
There was a time when Howard was considered one of the best players in the entire NBA. He was an absolute beast with the Orlando Magic. Things started to slowly go downhill when he was traded to the Lakers and signed with the Houston Rockets. Howard is now about to play with his sixth team in six seasons.
“It’s been a step,” Howard said. “Every day has been a step into a different direction. It’s very hard. I just finished playing with one team, and I was headed up here to Philly a couple days ago and trying to figure out what mask to wear, and all my masks said Lakers on them. I was like, ‘I can’t wear this anymore.’
“So, it was pretty tough, just the adjustment from being on one team and playing with this team for a full year … we played basketball from October to October, and then now I’m with the 76ers, so just the clothing, being in Philly, I’m just trying to take everything in. But I’m very thankful and blessed to be part of this organization, and it’s been great so far.”
Howard’s days as a superstar are long over but he’s still very efficient on offense and strong on defense. He was a good pickup for the 76ers.
Will Lakers Miss Howard?
Based on how things went down, it appears the Lakers did have some interest in retaining Howard. He was really good for the team last year, especially in the playoffs. He brought a lot of swagger, athleticism and defense to the team’s bench.
Marc Gasol figures to be the team’s starting center this season and he definitely doesn’t have the swagger or athleticism of Howard or even the traded JaVale McGee. However, he’s still a very strong defender and is a bigger offensive threat than the two former Lakers. While Los Angeles will miss parts of Howard’s game, Gasol could end up being a bit of an upgrade.
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