This year, Dwight Howard won his first NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite all the controversies that surrounded the Lakers centre, he was an integral part of the team that won a championship after a decade. However, the 35-year-old recently spoke about his time in Los Angeles, stating that he is aiming for a better contract for the fast-approaching 2020-21 season.
Dwight Howard on FA: "I would love to come back and play for the Lakers again. Hopefully, this year, they give me a contract; that's the biggest thing. I don't want to play for free anymore. This year, it was like, 'OK, I'll do whatever.' But I think I've earned... a contract." pic.twitter.com/DuzNqg6EQi— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 18, 2020
Howard recently spoke to Ethan Thomas of Basketball News, making it clear that he would love to come back and play for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Howard stated he is sure he will not sign a non-guaranteed contract. "Hopefully this year they give me a contract ... that’s the biggest thing. I don’t want to play for free anymore," Howard explained.
He added that last season was a test for the team while they learnt and tried to "figure each other out", leading to the title. Howard claimed that this time he was willing to do "whatever" but has earned the right to "have an opinion on a contract for myself". Howard, whose 2019-20 season was considered his redemption, even spoke about his wife Te'a Cooper playing for the WNBA's Sparks. "It would be great for us to still be in the same city and play."
Howard played with the Washington Wizards for a year before signing with the Lakers. Per Spotrac, Howard's one-year deal with the team pays $2,564,753 with a cap hit of $1,731,372.
DWIGHT HOWARD commented on one of our IG posts again 👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/mhFhLdWzGe— #LAKER Podcast (@hashtaglakerpod) November 18, 2020
After November 19, Howard will become an unrestricted free agent. In October, The Athletic and The Stadium's Shams Charania reported about Howard's free agency, stating that the Lakers and Howard currently have a "mutual interest" regarding the contract. However, the Golden State Warriors have been linked with Howard, as they might pursue him during free agency.