NBA Free Agency: Montrezl Harrell moves to Los Angeles Lakers; Dwight Howard heads to Philadelphia 76ers
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The Los Angeles Lakers quickly moved on from the reported loss of back-up big man Dwight Howard, agreeing to a two-year contract with NBA Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell.

According to reports, the Lakers were close to a deal with Harrell, a standout with LA’s crosstown rivals, the Clippers.

Howard has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $2.6m deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harrell posted career highs with 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 27.8 minutes per game in 63 games (two starts) before the interruption of this past season.

He didn’t play in any regular-season games after the resumption of play due to the death of his grandmother, after which his production slipped to 10.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 18.7 minutes per game during the playoffs.

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    Harrell, 26, was a second-round pick by Houston in 2015 and played two seasons with the Rockets before joining the Clippers as part of the June 2017 trade that sent All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Rockets.

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    Through five seasons, Harrell has averaged 12.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 318 games (25 starts).

    The acquisition of Harrell comes on the heels of the Lakers’ reported trade pick-up of guard Dennis Schroder from Oklahoma City. Schroder finished second in last season’s Sixth Man of the Year voting.

    Howard heads to Philadelphia

    Eight-time All-Star and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard finally won his first championship with the Lakers last season.

    Now he’ll try to help the Philadelphia 76ers win their first since 1983. Howard’s agent Charles Briscoe confirmed to ESPN that the center agreed to a one-year contract worth with the 76ers on Friday.

    ESPN reported that the deal is for the veterans’ minimum of $2.6m.

    Philadelphia will be the 2004 No 1 overall pick’s eighth different team. (Howard has two stints with the Lakers).

    However, Howard’s path to Philadelphia wasn’t a direct route. About an hour after NBA free agency started at 11pm (UK time) on Friday, Howard tweeted that he was staying with the Lakers.

    “I’m staying right where I belong,” Howard posted on his Twitter account. “Laker nation I love y’all. Purple and gold never gets old.” Howard deleted that tweet shortly after it was posted.

    The 34-year-old has averaged 16.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in his career. Last season with Los Angeles, Howard averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 69 games, making just two starts.

    Howard’s addition to the 76ers roster is part of an offseason reworking of the organisation that started with the hiring of Doc Rivers as head coach and then Daryl Morey as president of basketball operations.

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    Morey started to alter the roster to his liking when he traded Josh Richardson and the draft rights to Tyler Bey to the Dallas Mavericks for sharpshooting Seth Curry, and he dealt big man Al Horford and draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard Danny Green.

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    The 32-year-old Italian will follow veterans Chris Paul, Kelly Oubre Jr and Ricky Rubio out the Oklahoma City door, and will sign a contract worth $61.5m over three years.

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