Eight-time NBA All Star center Dwight Howard tweeted that he would stay with the Los Angeles Lakers and then a few hours later agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Howard, who signed with the Lakers prior to the 2019/2020 season, played a key role off the bench for the Purple and Gold as this past season he averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds and blocked 1.1 shots per game.
After free agency officially began, Howard -- who claimed his first NBA Championship this past season -- tweeted: "I'm staying right where I belong. Laker Nation I love y'all. Purple and Gold never gets old."
But just a few hours later, it was announced that Howard was leaving the Lakers to sign with the 76ers and the eight-time All Star center deleted the tweet he put out when the free agency kicked off.
The Lakers quickly found a replacement for Howard
After it was announced that Howard was signing with the 76ers, the Lakers went out and signed Los Angeles Clippers center Montrezl Harrell on a two-year, $19 million contract.
Meanwhile, Jason Smith -- who last played for the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019 -- told his craziest free agency story when this year's free agency kicked off. The story told by Smith occurred on September 23, 2010, just before his third season in the NBA.
"One of my craziest would definitely be the first time that I got traded. I was with the Philadelphia 76ers. Two days before training camp is supposed to start, I get traded down to New Orleans, Hornets at the time,” Smith said on NBC Sports Washington’s Free Agency Live Facebook stream, as revealed on Yahoo Sports.
“Willie Green, [and] myself were in the trade. I was like, ‘Alright, uh, this is a little crazy, training camp supposed to start in two days, I’m a little out of sorts. Ok.’ I get down to the new city, I’m ready to start training camp, they pull me aside, they say, ‘Oh, you guys can’t play, you didn’t pass your physicals.’ So, my mind, I’m like, ‘Uh, do I go back to Philly or am I cut or like, what’s going?’ "So, low and behold, Willie Green had a cyst behind his knee that he didn’t even know about, wasn’t giving him any problems.
They finally signed off on the trade. Two days later, I was allowed to participate in training camp, and I made a name for myself. I was so happy just to play basketball. "You put that stuff in limbo out there, you don’t know if you’re playing, if you’re not playing, if you’re traded, if you’re not traded.
It’s not fun to deal with the business of basketball. But when you keep it strictly: go out there, throw the ball up and let’s hoop, that’s what I want to do. That’s what I’m all about”.