NBA signings: C Howard finally lands in Washington

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and center Dwight Howard (12) between plays during the third quarter in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. — Reuters

NEW YORK — Dwight Howard officially signed with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The deal, reportedly for two years and $11 million with a player option for the second year, ends a busy few weeks for the 14-year veteran. The Charlotte Hornets traded him to the Brooklyn Nets on June 20 in exchange for Timofey Mozgov, cash and draft picks.

He then agreed to a buyout with the Nets late last week but first had to clear waivers. That happened on Monday, and on Wednesday he joined the Wizards.

Howard, 32, has averaged 17.4 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his career, though his numbers have dipped in recent years (14.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks the past three seasons).

After eight seasons in Orlando, Howard has played for four clubs in six seasons (not counting the brief tenure with Brooklyn) — one in Los Angeles with Lakers, three in Houston, then one each in Atlanta and Charlotte the past two seasons.

• The San Antonio Spurs retained two of their own, officially re-signing forwards Rudy Gay and Davis Bertans. The 31-year-old Gay, entering his 13th season, reportedly signed a one-year, $10 million contract. In his first season in San Antonio, Gay averaged 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in 57 games (six starts). He opted out after the season, passing on a reported $8.8 million salary to become a free agent.

Bertans, a restricted free agent, reportedly got $14.5 million for the next two seasons. The 25-year-old Latvian made $1.3 million in 2017-18. Bertans averaged 5.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 77 games (10 starts) last season, shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range. He shot 39.9 percent from deep in 2016-17.

• Omri Casspi is officially a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, signing what was reported to be a one-year deal. Casspi, 30, has averaged 8.0 points and 4.1 rebounds with six teams over nine seasons. He was waived by Golden State before the playoffs after injuries limited him to just 53 games in his lone season with the Warriors.

• The Houston Rockets and free agent forward James Ennis have agreed to a two-year contract, according to multiple reports Wednesday. The deal will reportedly be for the minimum salary, and Ennis will have a player option for the second season.

Ennis joins the Rockets following the departures of small forwards Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza in free agency this month. Both players had major roles on the team that reached the Western Conference finals last season, playing both forward positions and switching defensively in small lineups.

The 6-foot-7 Ennis helps to fill the defensive void left by the exit of Mbah a Moute and Ariza. Ennis also provides a deep-threat presence, having sunk 35.9 percent of his 3-point shots in his career. Between 45 games (14 starts) with the Memphis Grizzlies and 27 games (eight starts) with the Detroit Pistons last season, Ennis averaged 7.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Ennis, 28, has career averages of 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game across his four seasons in the league. A second-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2013 out of Long Beach State, he started his NBA career with the Miami Heat and also had a brief stint with the New Orleans Pelicans. — Reuters


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