2021 NBA Free Agency is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. PST on Monday, August 2nd. Since we are less than 36 hours away, it’s time for rumors to start swirling around like a tornado. And as the Lakers now have an attractive trio for free agents to join in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, expect a lot of names to be connected to the team. The most recent name is one we are familiar with, and that is former Lakers center, Dwight Howard.
According to the L.A. Times’ Brad Turner, Howard is “ready to return” to the team after spending a season with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Dwight Howard back to the Lakers?
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 1, 2021
Honestly, it seems like Howard should have never left the Lakers last season when looking back on the events that led to his departure. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Twitter that Howard was returning to the Lakers shortly after the 2020 NBA Free Agency period began, with Howard confirming the report in his own Twitter post. Those two tweets were immediately deleted, with Charania reporting that Howard was on his way to Philadelphia shortly after that. It was evidenced that there was some miscommunication going on between the Lakers’ front office, Howard’s agent, and Charania.
If Dwight Howard does sign with the Lakers when free agency starts tomorrow, it will be the second time that he has returned to the franchise. He left the team after the lone 2012-13 season that was a disaster (the #StayD12 billboards seemed to not matter to him) only for him to come back for the 2019-20 season to play back-up center and win his lone career championship, cementing his Hall of Fame status.
The Lakers need him to play back-up center again, as one of the 2020-21 team’s downfalls was its weird center rotation involving Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell, and then Andre Drummond. The rotation always paled in comparison to the one that involved Davis, Howard, and JaVale McGee, so it seems the Lakers will be trying to fix it by partially going back to the formula that won them a ring.