Center Dwight Howard is finalizing a contract buyout with the Grizzlies and plans to sign with the Lakers as a free agent, according to multiple reports.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added that Howard's deal with the Lakers will be non-guaranteed as Los Angeles enters the partnership with caution. The team wants the ability to cut him without cost to keep as leverage. The 6'11" big man had several meetings with Lakers officials, per Wojnarowski, who decided to give him a chance to show he's made changes in how he conducts himself with teammates and coaches, which has been an issue in the past.
Howard, Joakin Noah and Mo Speights participated in workouts and meetings with the Lakers this week as they tried to fill the team's void at center.
Los Angeles's interest in the Grizzlies center piqued after DeMarcus Cousins tore his left ACL on Aug. 12 while working out in Las Vegas. The Lakers had signed Cousins to a one-year deal in July to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis after the team missed out on top target Kawhi Leonard.
Howard was reportedly not expected to play with Memphis this season even though they did not buy him out until this week. The 33-year-old veteran spent last season with the Wizards and averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Washington traded Howard to Memphis on July 6.