Dwight Howard’s first run as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers ended in massive disappointment. His second one led to his first career championship. The third ultimately ended up looking a lot like the first.
This week, Howard sat down with the media and addressed how he envisions things unfolding in the future.
Howard obviously loves L.A. – that much is clear.
But does he believe he will stay past this summer?
“I don’t want to leave,” he said, before adding that, “[I] love being here. I feel like I got a lot more years in me.”
Howard went on to note that with technology rapidly advancing and health becoming easier to maintain, he feels he can play effectively for many years to come.
If he has it his way, Howard would prefer to “go out with a bang,” which presumably means another title.
This past season Howard averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game. His role wasn’t markedly different than what it was during the Lakers’ championship campaign two years ago, but the fact that the overall team philosophy shifted away from being defense-centric definitely hindered Howard’s contributions.
That said, Howard is the first to admit that he has as much room for improvement as anyone.
“Myself and what I could’ve done better, the areas I got to improve in, what I could’ve done to help my teammates,” he said.
Clearly Howard wants to remain in Los Angeles. That much is clear. But the Lakers have a big offseason ahead of them. And a lot of it depends on whether one of the four teams that is interested in acquiring Russell Westbrook actually does so.
That’s one way to return the Lions to respectability. https://t.co/5GNis0N5nt
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 12, 2022
Should that trade happen, then a return to the title-winning season of 2020 is suddenly feasible and realistic. In that scenario, Howard could prove to be as useful now as he was then.
But if Westbrook remains in L.A., then a repeat of this year feels likely. And if that’s the case, there seems to be a better chance that Howard plays in a new uniform come 2022-23.
Related: Kyle Kuzma’s 10-Word Reaction To Lakers Firing Frank Vogel