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Lakers reach agreements to bring back Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington and Trevor Ariza

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Dwight Howard agrees to return to Los Angeles Lakers.

Dwight Howard agrees to return to Los Angeles Lakers. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The Lakers reached an agreement Monday with Dwight Howard to bring the veteran center to L.A. for a third time, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Howard’s one-year deal for the veteran minimum can’t be signed until Friday at 12:01 p.m. PDT. Until then, teams and players can only agree to terms.

The Lakers also agreed to one-year, veteran-minimum deals with 3-and-D wings Trevor Ariza and Wayne Ellington, who have also played previously with the club.

Howard won a title with the Lakers in 2020 during his second one-year stint with the team, but he bolted to the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

Howard, 35, averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes last season during 69 games in Philadelphia, his 17th in the NBA.

John Sheeran breaks down the Lakers trade for Russell Westbrook and how much he believes it should effect their championship odds 

The Lakers have five players under contract heading into free agency — LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook (once the trade to acquire him from Washington is finalized), Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie. The Lakers’ payroll stands at about $131 million with those contracts, and the salary cap is expected to be about $112.3 million when the new business calendar opens Friday.

As free-agency negotiations continue this week, one order of business for the Lakers is trying to re-sign their own free agents — guards Talen Horton-Tucker, who was given a qualifying offer so the team can match any offer, and Alex Caruso, who is an unrestricted free agent. Horton-Tucker, 20, and Caruso, 27, also helped the Lakers win the title in 2020.

Caruso, though, has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with the Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN. The contract is worth $37 million.

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