Dwight Howard will get his money, the full $5.6 million he opted into this summer. The man is getting paid.
The checks are just coming from two different teams.
To facilitate a move to the Lakers, Howard is giving back $2.6 million in a buyout with the Grizzlies — exactly how much he makes on a minimum contract with Los Angeles. From Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of ESPN:
My guess is the Grizzlies will just take the cap hit this season to get Howard off the books.
This is exactly how this was expected to go down financially if Howard came to Los Angeles. The risk for Howard is he will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers — they can waive him for whatever reason, pay a small buyout fee, and Howard loses out on the $2.6 million.
That’s motivation for him to follow through on what he promised the team.