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Dwight Howard deletes tweet announcing return to Lakers before agreeing to 76ers deal

For a few minutes Friday, it appeared Dwight Howard was heading back to the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard caused plenty of confusion Friday, tweeting — and later deleting — a message stating he would re-sign with Los Angeles before eventually agreeing to a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Howard’s original message read: “I’m staying right where I belong. Laker nation I love y’all. Purple and gold never gets old.”

Moments later, however, Howard deleted that tweet. At that time, Howard was reportedly still considering his options, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Later, Charania reported Howard agreed to a one-year deal with the 76ers. Howard’s deal is reportedly worth $2.6 million, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Why did Dwight Howard say he was returning to the Lakers?

It’s unclear why Howard sent out the tweet announcing his return to the Lakers. Howard may have believed he was heading back to the Lakers and jumped the gun. It’s possible the 76ers’ offer came in right as Howard sent the tweet and he reconsidered. It could have been a negotiating ploy by Howard to get the 76ers to increase their offer. It also could have been an honest mistake by Howard. Maybe he had a tweet ready to go if he returned to the Lakers and accidentally hit the “tweet” button. We may never know the actual answer.

Amazingly, it’s not the first time Howard has flip-flopped over a big decision. Howard was nearly traded from the Orlando Magic to the then-New Jersey Nets in March 2012, but changed his mind at the last minute. Despite reportedly telling the Magic he wanted out, Howard exercised a one-year option to stay in Orlando.

That August, Howard was traded to the Lakers in a four-team deal. He spent one season in Los Angeles before signing with the Houston Rockets.

Howard moving on from Lakers after winning championship

Howard signing, and then winning a championship, with the Lakers was among the better feel-good stories in the NBA last season. Howard left the franchise on bad terms following the 2012-13 season, making it a big surprise when he returned in 2019-20.

In a part-time role, Howard averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds last season.

While the Lakers lost out on re-signing Howard, the team didn’t get shut out in free agency Friday. The Lakers agreed with Wesley Matthews on a one-year, $3.6 million deal.

Howard will look to continue his late-career resurgence with the 76ers. He should play a similar, part-time role in Philadelphia, backing up big man Joel Embiid.

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