The Washington Wizards and Dwight Howard have both seen better days. Two springs ago, the Wizards fell one game shy of playing in the Eastern Conference finals but last season toiled in mediocrity. Howard, in the not-so-distant past, was considered the premiere big man in the NBA but has since been treated like a disposable center. Now, in their moments of need, the team and the player are one step closer to finding each other.

Howard is expected to sign with the Wizards for $5.3 million after his trade from the Charlotte Hornets to the Brooklyn Nets became official Friday, according to several people familiar with the situation. Before the Wizards can make the signing official, Howard's representatives must negotiate a buyout from the Nets to become a free agent, a step that's considered a formality. Then Howard must clear waivers to be able to sign with a team of his choosing.

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Howard, the 6-foot-11 center who was an All-Star for eight consecutive seasons from 2006 to 2014, was set to make approximately $23.8 million in the final year of his contract. However, he will come to Washington for the team's mini mid-level exception, a tool used by franchises that are over the NBA luxury tax level of $123.7 million in players' salary.

Howard's modest, one-year contract will be a far cry from 2013, when he inked a four-year, $88 million contract with the Houston Rockets . Much has changed over the past five years when Howard was the coveted free agent.

The Wizards aren't getting "Superman" at his peak, when he played as a dominant defensive force who led the league in blocked shots twice and total rebounds five times.

— Candace Buckner, The Washington Post

Softball: Tyonah Fletcher (Western Tech) and Aisha Sullivan (Lake Clifton) are participating in the Softball Elite Development through Tuesday.

Arena Football League : The AFL and The Jason Foundation are partnering today for the fourth annual Jason's Week to draw attention to youth suicide. Events, announcements and promotional giveaways will take place during the Brigade at Washington Valor and Philadelphia Soul at Albany Empire games today.

Major League Soccer: Wayne Rooney and D.C. United trained at the RFK Stadium Auxiliary Field on Friday in the first training session as a group since Rooney signed a contract on June 28 to become United's newest designated player. D.C. United returned from a weeklong road trip that ended with a 2-2 draw against LA Galaxy in Carson, Calif., on Wednesday. United next play at Vancouver on July 14 at 8 p.m.

From Sun staff and news services

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