Basketball: Howard clears waivers, signs for Lakers

LOS ANGERLES (REUTERS) – Dwight Howard cleared waivers and was signed Monday (Aug 26) by the Los Angeles Lakers, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka confirmed in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not released, per team policy. In a corresponding move, the team waived forward Aric Holman, a rookie out Mississippi State who was signed in July.

ESPN first reported on Friday that Howard agreed to surrender US$2.6 million (S$3.6 million) of his guaranteed US$5.6 million salary to secure a buyout of his existing contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.

He did so with the intention of signing with the Lakers, who are looking to fill a void created when centre DeMarcus Cousins tore his anterior cruciate ligament during training this summer in Las Vegas.

ESPN followed up on Monday with a report that Howard would sign what is known as a “summer contract”, which is non-guaranteed and would pay him US$14,490 for every day he is on the roster, starting Oct 21.

The contract was expected to include a provision that would make the Lakers responsible for only US$6,000 if Howard is injured and waived before the regular season, according to ESPN.

The move marks the second tour with the Lakers for Howard, who turns 34 in December. He averaged 17.1 points and a league-high 12.4 rebounds in 76 games in 2012-13.

The eight-time All-Star has career marks of 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds in 1,044 games over 15 seasons.

Howard averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in nine games last season with the Washington Wizards, his campaign ending in November because of back surgery. He is set to join his fifth team in five years.

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