If Howard had opted out of the NBA’s return, he would have forfeited approximately 1.1% of his salary for each game missed, up to a maximum of 14 games. Instead, the veteran big man – who will join the team in Orlando on Thursday – will receive his remaining game checks and will donate them to his non-profit campaign Breathe Again, according to Charania.
Like teammate Avery Bradley, who opted not to participate in the NBA’s restart, Howard talked last month about not wanting the resumed season to draw attention away from social justice movements. He has also been going through personal issues unrelated to social justice, including the recent death of his six-year-old son’s mother.
With Howard on board, it appears the Lakers will be missing just one player (Bradley) from a roster that took a Western Conference-best 49-14 record into the NBA’s hiatus in March. J.R. Smith was signed last week as a substitute player to replace Bradley.
An eight-time All-Star, Howard figures to share center duties this summer with JaVale McGee and Anthony Davis. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year has enjoyed a strong bounce-back season with the Lakers in 2019/20 after a lost year in Washington. In 62 games (19.2 MPG), Howard has averaged 7.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 1.2 BPG with a .732 FG%.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.