Lakers News: Dwight Howard Officially Signs Contract, Will Wear No. 39 Jersey

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard (21) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Dwight Howard cleared waivers Monday, which allowed the veteran center to officially sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported the news. The Lakers waived forward Aric Holman to make room for Howard.

Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times noted Howard will be the first player in Lakers history to wear the No. 39 jersey. 

The Lakers set their sights on the eight-time All-Star after DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL earlier this month.

Charania reported Friday that Howard will sign a one-year, $2.6 million non-guaranteed deal. ESPN's Bobby Marks broke down the fine print of the deal:

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

The contract that Dwight Howard will sign in LAL is called a “summer contract” because it has $0 salary protection (comparable to Anthony Bennett in Houston). Howard will earn $14,490 for every day he is on the roster. The per day clock will start on Oct. 21.

Howard made only nine appearances for the Washington Wizards in 2018-19. He underwent an L4-L5 lumbar microdiscectomy last November and didn't return for the remainder of the season.

The injury continued his overall decline, a trend that arguably started with his trade to the Lakers in August 2012. Howard never meshed with Kobe Bryant, and the Lakers won 45 games before getting swept in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.

The 33-year-old has remained a consistent scorer and rebounder; however, he will now be moving to his sixth team in five seasons—five teams if you exclude his brief stint this summer with the Memphis Grizzlies—which largely speaks for itself.

Multiple franchises have taken a flier on Howard, only for him to quickly wear out his welcome.

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Just one year after trading for Dwight Howard the #Hornets are shipping him out and @bwood_33 says it has nothing to do with his ability on the court. https://t.co/aQ8GYqqNsy

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers made it clear to Howard that they'd release him if he ruffled any feathers in the locker room.

Wojnarowski reported Howard spoke with team officials, players and coaches to ease any doubts about his willingness to accept a lesser role. He added this has become a regular theme: "For years, Howard, 33, has sold an almost annual idea of a personal renaissance and epiphany, only to infuriate coaches and teammates with behavior that moved from selfish on the court to childish and disruptive off it."

Charania wrote Howard is expected to vie for Los Angeles' starting center position with JaVale McGee.