Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Dwight Howard to have contract guaranteed

(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Recent Los Angeles Lakers rumors involve Dwight Howard, as the organization will reportedly guarantee his deal for the remainder of the season.

Los Angeles Lakers rumors have begun picking up as trade talks gear up. There have been plenty of debates about who should go and who the team should target to upgrade the roster.

With the team having 15 players on the roster, they will have to make some roster space if they want to acquire anyone. One way they could have cleared a roster spot was by allowing Dwight Howard‘s contract to run its course.

Howard agreed to a non-guaranteed deal prior to the season to help offset the injury to DeMarcus Cousins. Howard talked as if he was a changed player, but had to show that he was truly changed.

There were some skeptics about the deal, but it was a win-win for the Lakers. They were either going to get a truly motivated Howard to help the team at the center spot, or release him with no harm done. The deadline has come, and that potential open roster spot the team could have had is going to be filled by Howard himself.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers have until Tuesday, 2 p.m. PT to waive Howard and his non-guaranteed deal. That will reportedly not happen, as Howard will have his contract guaranteed for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

While tomorrow is the official date for the team to decide, Howard’s spot, in reality, has been locked in for a while now.

Howard is having a renaissance in his second stint in Los Angeles. His first tenure in Los Angeles was not pretty, as the Big 3 of him, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant did not work out well. Howard dealt with back issues and bolted in free agency, leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.

That was essentially the start of the downfall for Howard. He began garnering a bad reputation around the league and found himself playing on multiple teams.

This season marks the fifth straight season Howard has played on a new team, as he played for the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards the previous four seasons. He was also waived twice during that time span by the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets.

However, Howard has kept to his word this season with the Lakers. He has been excellent on both ends of the court coming off the bench.

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In only 19.5 minutes per game, Howard is averaging 7.1 points on 73.8 percent from the field, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Per 36 minutes, the block numbers are right on par with what he was producing during his prime years with the Orlando Magic.

Howard has been a lifesaver for the Lakers’ second unit. He has anchored them defensively and done it willingly. He isn’t complaining about offensive touches, he is just going out there, doing his job as a rim protector and rebounder, and doing it well.

Following Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons, in which Howard contributed five of the team’s 20 blocks, he reflected on becoming an integral part of the Lakers as essentially his last shot.

"“You got to be able to stand the rain,” Howard said. “That’s what makes us humans. That’s what makes us. The ability to go through tough times and not allow it to break our character. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to go through hell and be like, ‘OK, just smile it off.’ But you never know how close you are to a breakthrough if you just quit on yourself.”"

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The former All-NBA defender as far surpassed even the highest of expectations the team had for him. This season’s performance will extend Howard’s career, as he looked destined to fall out of the league with how the past four or five years have gone for him.