After finally earning his first-ever title with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard will garner quite a bit of interest on the free-agent market.
Many expect the 35-year old center to resign with the Purple and Gold, but another team may be lurking to secure his services.
The Warriors are interested in signing Dwight Howard, sources tell our @ShamsCharania.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) October 15, 2020
The Golden State Warriors are coming off of an injury-plagued campaign that saw them grab the second pick of the 2020 draft.
And with the duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson healthy once again, the Warriors immediately return as title contenders.
However, the roster lacks a defensive enforcer with size.
They could address this issue through the draft, but signing Howard would serve as a quick fix while taking away from the Lakers.
By demonstrating his re-dedication to the game, though, Howard set himself up for a nice paycheck no matter where he lands.
At his peak, Howard was one of the premier big men in the league.
In his eight years with the Orlando Magic, he made the All-Star team and All-NBA rosters every season and won Defensive Player of the Year three times.
After his disastrous first stint with the Lakers in 2012, though, Howard devolved into a bit of a journeyman.
He had a solid yet fruitless three-year run with the Rockets, then bounced from Atlanta to Charlotte, then to Washington.
Howard also developed a negative reputation with his lackadaisical effort and carefree attitude.
To reshape the narrative, Howard bet on himself by returning to the Lakers last summer on an incentive-laden deal.
The contract that Dwight Howard will sign in LAL is called a “summer contract” because it has $0 salary protection (comparable to Anthony Bennett in Houston). Howard will earn $14,490 for every day he is on the roster. The per day clock will start on Oct. 21.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 26, 2019
Howard and the Lakers took a gamble with this deal, but it worked out better than anyone could have imagined.
Dwight Howard's redemption story is complete pic.twitter.com/fFMejHDWWA
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) October 12, 2020
While he was no longer the dominant force that he once was, Howard was still a capable player.
His days of nightly double-doubles and highlight-reel blocks were few and far between, but he was still an invaluable component for the Lakers.
He provided a spark off the bench and in spot starts, averaging 18.9 minutes, 7.5 points, and 7.3 rebounds in 69 games this season.
Champion at Last
In the playoffs, Howard saw those numbers decrease across the board.
However, he still was a solid contributor and earned the first championship of his decorated career.
Dwight Howard adds NBA champ to his resume ✔️ pic.twitter.com/IG670a42bq
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 12, 2020
Howard’s individual accolades had always made him worthy of a spot in the Hall-of-Fame.
His case waned in recent years, but his role in the Lakers’ title run vaulted his resume back into the spotlight.
The only question that remains is whether he runs it back with the Lakers or finds himself in new threads when the next season kicks off.