Many Twitter users have deleted a tweet here and there. Those tweets don’t usually involve where they’re going to be playing basketball next season.
The explanation for how Dwight Howard went from deleting a tweet that he was re-signing with the Lakers on Friday to agreeing to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum with the Sixers is fascinating. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports Howard thought a one-year, $3 million “deal concept” from the Lakers’ front office meant he would indeed be returning to Los Angeles. That evidently wasn’t the case, and as Los Angeles’ front office waited for ownership approval on a final offer, the Sixers reportedly swooped in.
“Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers were being ultra-aggressive in courting the big man led by new head of basketball operations Daryl Morey, who was the general manager of the Houston Rockets when Howard signed there in 2013,” Haynes writes. “All-Star Joel Embiid also began recruiting Howard, sources said.”
Contingency planning is part of free agency preparation for NBA front offices, but it’s unlikely there’s any blueprint for this exact scenario.
“It’s like a four-day window where our entire hopeful worth to the franchise will happen, and so we’re very cognizant to deliver,” Morey said early Thursday morning. “And that requires just a huge amount of prep. So we’re ready for free agency, we’ve got our plan to execute there, and there won’t be much sleep when things kick off Friday.”
Embiid, who certainly possesses some of the goofiness that characterized Howard in his Magic days, apparently liked the idea of having a three-time Defensive Player of the Year as his backup. Like Embiid, Howard was dominant in his prime, leading the league in rebounding five times and in blocks twice, but he’s had well-documented issues meshing with teammates at times in his 16-year NBA career.
His departure from Los Angeles, however, seemingly had nothing to do with any chemistry problems. The Sixers leapt in and acquired a low-cost backup center because of a head-scratching miscommunication.