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Dwight Howard officially signs one-year deal with Lakers

Dwight Howard is averaging 17.4 points and 12 rebounds this season.
Dwight Howard joins the Lakers after playing in only nine games with Washington Wizards last season.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Dwight Howard officially signed his one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers on Monday, after clearing the league’s waiver wire.

To make room for Howard, the Lakers waived forward Aric Holman.

In his career, Howard has averaged 17.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and two blocks per game. He helps the Lakers fill a need that arose when DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament two weeks ago.

Forget the Dwight Howard of the past. That’s not the guy the Lakers are getting, and it’s important that they know that. And, it’s even more important that Howard knows it.

Howard returns seven years after the Orlando Magic traded him to the Lakers for the 2012-13 season. The Lakers had hoped to compete for a championship with Howard and Steve Nash in the fold, but with both players hampered by injuries, they made a first-round exit instead. Howard then left in free agency despite the Lakers’ recruitment efforts.

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The eight-time All Star, who has won three defensive player of the year awards, only played in nine games last season as he recovered from spinal surgery on his lower back. A person familiar with his condition said Howard is 100% healthy now.

The Wizards traded him to Memphis this summer. The Grizzlies reached a buyout agreement with Howard last week, freeing him to sign with the Lakers.


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