Dwight Howard on Returning to Lakers in Free Agency: 'We're Supposed to Be Together'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2021

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JULY 03:  Dwight Howard attends 105.3 The Beat & DJ Envy's Drive Your Dreams Car Show at Georgia World Congress Center on July 03, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Last offseason, Dwight Howard famously declared he'd rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers—seemingly before confirming whether the team wanted him back. The Lakers had plans of their own, signing Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell at center, while Howard pivoted and signed with the Philadelphia 76ers instead.

After a one-year stint in Philadelphia, Howard is back in Los Angeles with no hard feelings.

"We're supposed to be together. It's something about the Lakers that we're supposed to be together," Howard told reporters Friday.

Howard is one of several high-profile veterans who will join LeBron James and Anthony Davis next season. The Lakers made the offseason's first major splash in trading for Russell Westbrook before adding Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza, among others, in free agency.

"It's hard to imagine all of us on the same floor at the same time, not on an All-Star team, Olympic team or charity game, but an actual season,"  Howard told reporters of the veteran-laden roster.

James, Davis, Howard, Westbrook and Anthony are future Hall of Famers with a combined 52 All-Star appearances. While Howard and Anthony are role players at this juncture of their respective careers, the name value alone is a 2K fever dream.

Howard's playing time next season will depend on the Lakers' strategic planning. Their best on-paper lineups will feature Davis at center to improve the roster's cramped spacing. Howard and Davis will likely play side-by-side on nights when the Lakers want Davis to take a rest from defending opposing centers.