The Sports Report: Lakers reach deals with Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington and Trevor Ariza

Looks like Dwight Howard will be back in a Laker uniform next season.
(Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Broderick Turner on the Lakers: The Lakers reached an agreement Monday with Dwight Howard to bring the veteran center to L.A. for a third time, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Howard’s one-year deal for the veteran minimum can’t be signed until Friday at 12:01 p.m. PDT. Until then, teams and players can only agree to terms.


The Lakers also agreed to one-year, veteran-minimum deals with 3-and-D wings Trevor Ariza and Wayne Ellington, who have also played previously with the club, shortly after the free-agency window opened. Later Monday night, the Lakers reach an agreement on a one-year deal with Kent Bazemore, another sharpshooting wing.

Lakers forward Dwight Howard warms up before a game.
Looks like Dwight Howard will be back in a Lakers uniform next season.
(Elsa Garrison / Getty Images)

Howard won a title with the Lakers in 2020 during his second one-year stint with the team, but he bolted to the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

Howard, 35, averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes last season during 69 games in Philadelphia, his 17th in the NBA.

The Lakers have five players under contract heading into free agency — LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook (once the trade to acquire him from Washington is finalized), Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie. The Lakers’ payroll stands at about $131 million with those contracts, and the salary cap is expected to be about $112.3 million when the new business calendar opens Friday.

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Nicolas Batum tries to stop Phoenix guard Cameron Payne.
(Associated Press)

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: Nicolas Batum was one of the Clippers’ last signings of free agency last year, a veteran forward whose production was impossible to predict coming off a career-worst season in Charlotte.

More than eight months later when NBA free agency opened Monday, the Clippers’ first agreement came with Batum, which was the team’s desired result after his bounce-back season made him one of the team’s top targets.

He has agreed to a two-year contract with a player option for the second year, confirmed a person with knowledge of the deal not authorized to speak publicly. Additionally, the person said, the team still has its $5.9-million taxpayer mid-level exception to use on another free agent. For a franchise with limited financial flexibility this offseason, keeping the exception open while re-signing Batum is a significant victory.


Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford
(Associated Press)

Ryan Kartje on the Rams: Quarterback Matthew Stafford slammed his surgically repaired right thumb into a defender’s helmet during a throw Monday, ending his day early and leaving the Rams’ sideline to hold its collective breath.


The Rams had no substantive update on Stafford’s status after practice, but Rams coach Sean McVay said he was hopeful “everything will be OK there.”

“We’ll see,” McVay said. “He’s so tough as it is. Look at what he played through all last year to get the thumb cleaned up. He’s a tough guy. We’ll see what they say and take it one day at a time.”

Stafford had surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his right thumb in early March, shortly after the Rams acquired him from the Detroit Lions in a blockbuster trade that included two first-round picks and quarterback Jared Goff.

The Rams are in the midst of training camp in Irvine. Click here for our live blog of updates throughout training camp.


Luca Evans on the Angels: The devil was in the details for the Angels in Monday night’s 4-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Sure, their pitching held Texas to just five hits, but smart baserunning and situational hitting put runs on the board for the Rangers. Sure, the Angels’ offense made consistent contact, but perfect defensive placement and technique enabled the Rangers to scoop up any threat. Sure, Chris Rodriguez, making his first start in the majors, was dominant for much of the night in racking up seven strikeouts in six innings – but he also gave up three earned runs.


Monday night’s game simply slipped out of their grasp. With the Angels now 7.5 games back of the second American League wild-card slot, their season might follow.

“Let’s just hopefully morph it all together real quickly and get on some kind of a winning streak, which we really need to do,” manager Joe Maddon said postgame.


Ryan Kartje on the Trojans: Rreceiver Bru McCoy was arrested last month on suspicion of felony intimate partner violence with injury and has been “temporarily removed from team activities” ahead of the Trojans’ preseason training camp this week, The Times has learned.

“USC does not condone violence of any kind,” the university’s athletic department said in a statement. “We are aware of the situation, and USC’s Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX is reviewing it. Because of federal student privacy laws, we are unable to share additional information at this time.”

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson confirmed McCoy was arrested on July 24 at 5:30 p.m. on suspicion of intimate partner violence with injury. The violation, listed under California Penal Code section 273.5(a), pertains to a person who “willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition” upon a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant or dating partner.

McCoy was released that same night on $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 24.


No further details about the incident were immediately available.


Kevin Baxter on LAFC: LAFC has finalized its acquisition of forward Cristian Arango from Colombia’s Millonarios on a reported $2.5-million transfer, said a league official with knowledge of the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly. An official announcement is expected soon, the official said.

Details of Arango’s contract were not released, but it was funded in part with Targeted Allocation Money, meaning Arango’s salary will exceed the maximum budget charge of $612,500.

Arango, 26, scored 22 times in 58 appearances for Bogota-based Millonarios. With LAFC he is expected to play as a center forward between Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, filling the void created when the team declined a contract option on Bradley Wright Phillips last fall.


The Chargers are in the midst of training camp. Click here for our live blog of updates throughout training camp.


Where’s the Olympics coverage? You will be receiving a special Olympics edition of the Sports Report, which should hit your inbox around 7 a.m. PT each day, and will run daily during the Games. You can also check out all of our Olympics coverage by clicking here.


1852 — The first intercollegiate rowing race is held on Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H., where Harvard beats Yale by four lengths on the 2-mile course.


1949 — The National Basketball Assn. is formed by the merger of the National Basketball League and the Basketball Assn.

1955 — Scott Frost, driven by Joe O’Brien, wins the Hambletonian at Good Time Park in Goshen, N.Y. He goes on to become the first trotting Triple Crown winner.

1985 — France’s Lutin D’Isigny becomes the first trotter to sweep the International Trot and Challenge Cup in consecutive years with a 3:03.1 time in the 1½-mile test.

1990 — The Professional Golfers Assn. Tour announces it will not hold tournaments at golf clubs that have all-white memberships or show any other signs of discrimination.

1996 — Andre Agassi, the Dream Team and the U.S. women’s 400-meter relay team win Olympic gold medals, while the American men’s 400 relay settles for silver. With Carl Lewis idled by a coach’s decision and Leroy Burrell injured, the men’s 400 team is shocked by Canada — the first time the U.S. lost the event at the Olympics.

2003 — Annika Sorenstam completes a career Grand Slam at the Women’s British Open, beating Se Ri Pak by a stroke in a thrilling head-to-head showdown.


2006 — Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta needs surgery to remove a ruptured blood vessel in his head after his race car collides with a deer that wandered onto the track during a test session at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

2012 — Michael Phelps rallies to win the 100-meter butterfly for his third gold of the London Games and No. 17 of his career. It’s Phelps’ third consecutive win in the event at the Olympics, and his 21st career medal. Missy Franklin sets a world record in the 200 backstroke for the 17-year-old’s third gold in London.

2013 — Sixteen-year-old Katie Ledecky wraps up a brilliant performance at the world swimming championships with her fourth gold medal and second world record. The youngster turns it on over the final four laps of the 800 freestyle to win in 8 minutes, 13.86 seconds and take down the mark of 8:14.10 set by Britain’s Rebecca Adlington at the 2008 Olympics.

And finally

Michael Phelps wins the 100-meter butterfly at the 2012 Olympics. Watch it here.

Until next time...

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