Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed Dwight Howard.
The free agent signing period doesn’t begin until tomorrow, but the Sixers were able to officially sign Howard today reportedly because the deal is for the veteran’s minimum.
Howard comes to Philadelphia after winning the NBA championship last season, appearing in 18 playoff games, starting seven. During the regular season with the Lakers, he saw action in 69 contests, tallying 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 18.9 minutes per game. Howard, who ranks fifth all-time in NBA history in field-goal percentage, shot a career-best .729 this past season, second in the NBA among players who played in at least 30 games. The Atlanta native notched nine double-doubles and collected double-digit rebounds on 16 occasions.
One of the most decorated active players in the NBA, Howard was originally selected by Orlando with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. All told, he’s appeared in 1,113 games (1,045 starts) over 16 seasons for the Lakers, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston and Orlando. He holds career averages of 16.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.9 blocks in 33.5 minutes per game. Howard, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Walt Bellamy, Wilt Chamberlain, Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone are the only players in NBA history to average at least 16 points and 12 rebounds over 1,000-or-more career games.
Over his career, Howard has been selected an NBA All-Star eight times, selected to All-NBA teams on eight occasions, earned the Defensive Player of the Year Award three times and been named to five All-Defensive teams. He’s led the NBA in rebounding five times and blocks twice.
Internationally, Howard has represented the United States in numerous competitions, dating back to 2006, including the 2008 Olympic Games at which Howard helped the “Redeem Team” capture the gold medal. Prior to the NBA, Howard played high school basketball in his hometown at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy where, as a senior, he received several awards declaring him the best high-school player in the country.
Howard will wear No. 39 for the 76ers.