Former Lakers All-Star Inks Surprising Deal With Overseas Team

Dwight Howard

Getty Images Former Lakers center Dwight Howard has signed on to play in Taiwan.

Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard has found a new home — in Taiwan.

Howard — the No. 1 overall pick in 2004 — spent last season with the Lakers, averaging 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game.  He was unable to find a new home in the NBA but he sounds thrilled about his next move. The eight-time All-Star will suit up for the Taoyuan Leopards.

“I am so so excited, and I can’t wait to touch down in Taiwan and start playing,” Howard said as part of a social media post by the team. “I’m coming with open arms, with big hugs and big smiles.”

It’s hard to imagine Howard is making the move for money. He has made nearly $250,000 million on the court in his career. Howard said he has a connection to Taiwan and is eager to put on a show.

“I have always loved the energy I felt visiting Taiwan as you can see I still have posters hanging up on my walls from my first two times visiting!” Howard said in an Instagram post. “I’m ready to enjoy life by playing the sport I love in front of a bunch of people that love me and for my people in Taiwan have your posters ready to welcome yours truly.”

Howard Petitioned for Spot With Warriors

It’s unclear whether or not the move rules out an eventual return to an NBA roster this season for Howard. Just a few weeks ago that he petitioned for a spot with the Golden State Warriors, saying he’d be a great mentor to the younger players.

“That’s perfect,” Howard said on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast. “They need a big. I know they have Kevon Looney, I know they have [James Wiseman], but I’m Dwight Howard. Wiseman could learn so much from me, because he’s heading in that direction of being a great big man.”

Howard is a future Hall of Famer but had struggled to find a permanent home, playing for six teams in six years. But he takes with a legendary resume with him to Taiwan, which includes eight All-Star appearances, eight All-NBA selections — five First-Team — and three Defensive Player of the Year honors. He’s averaged 15.7 points and 11.8 rebounds over his career.

The T1 league that Howard is joining was founded in 2021 and the Leopards were part of the inaugural season, finishing 8–22. Deyonta Davis and Troy Williams are two other players with NBA experience on the roster.

Lakers Struggling to Start Season

The Lakers attempted to reshape their roster this offseason, getting younger by parting ways with players like Howard and Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers have had a rough start to the year, going 2-8 over their first 10 games.

Lakers first-year head coach Darvin Ham anticipates his squad turning the corner soon.

“I would say this, man. And write it, quote it, however,” Ham told reporters on November 8. “This may be happening now at the outset of what we’re trying to force to be a culture change in terms of getting us back to being highly competitive on a highly consistent basis, but it’s not going to always be like this.

“We’re going to turn the corner. I didn’t come here to lose. They didn’t bring me here to lose.”

The Lakers will look to get back on track on Wednesday against the Clippers.

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