X

Dwight Howard Wanted to Return to Lakers, LA Wouldn't Give Him Multiyear Contract

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 9, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) passes the ball during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Los Angeles, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Dwight Howard would have returned to the Los Angeles Lakers if they offered him a multiyear contract, he told Shannon Sharpe on Monday's episode of the Club Shay Shay podcast:

"I would've went willing to go back to the Lakers," Howard said (0:15). "I've been willing to go back. They told me every time we not gonna give nobody over 30 a multiple-year contract. So I’m like, 'Dang, I just helped y'all win the NBA championship. Y'all could get your boy a mil or two or give me a mil. I don't want a whole bunch of minutes. Give me 20 minutes and let me ball out.'"

Howard spent the 2019-20 season with the Lakers, helping the team win an NBA championship while playing 18 postseason games (seven starts). After a year with the Philadelphia 76ers, he returned to Los Angeles in 2021-22 and averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

The veteran failed to secure a new contract for the 2022-23 campaign and instead announced Monday he will play for the Taoyuan Leopards in Taiwan.

The 36-year-old even considered a move to WWE without a quality offer from an NBA team.

His ask of $1-2 million is also reasonable after earning $2.6 million last year with the Lakers.

Howard started 27 of his 60 games last season, although he averaged just 16.2 minutes per game. Even in a limited role, he still provided valuable interior defense with a résumé that includes eight All-Star selections and three Defensive Player of the Year awards.

The Lakers could use this production in 2022-23 after falling to just 2-8 on the season with three straight double-digit losses.

Anthony Davis has played more minutes at center, but there is limited depth with Damian Jones and Wenyen Gabriel the only other options at the position.