The basketball world saw a very rare thing happen on Friday night at the start of free agency. A player announced he is going to sign with one team, then minutes later he agreed to a deal with a different team.
According to Yahoo Sports, Howard thought that the Lakers had offered him a one-year, $3 million deal to return to the City of Angels, which led to an announcement from the veteran on Twitter.
“I’m staying right here where I belong. Laker nation I love y’all. Purple and gold never gets old,” Howard tweeted.
Apparently the purple and gold did get old moments later. His communication with the Lakers front office stopped for an hour, as there was some miscommunication between Howard’s agent and the team.
Yahoo’s sources inside the Lakers front office said that no deal was ever in place to bring back Howard, only a “deal concept.” Howard assumed that since he agreed to the deal concept, it was a done deal.
76ers Jump on Opportunity
Because there wasn’t any conversation between the team and Howard after he thought he had agreed to the deal, he began listening to other teams. That’s where 76ers superstar Joel Embiid came into play.
Embiid reportedly was part of the Sixers regime that aggressively recruited the big man after the Lakers deal fell through. Howard never heard back from the Lakers, so the 34-year-old decided to join Philadelphia on a one-year, $2.5 million deal to come off the bench behind Embiid. Shortly after, it was reported that the Lakers had agreed to a deal with free-agent Montrezl Harrell.
Howard averaged 19 minutes per game last season, so he figures to be involved in Doc Rivers‘ rotation. Embiid has been criticized in the past due to his lack of conditioning. Perhaps Howard will help keep Embiid fresh for late in games.
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