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.