Dwight Howard says Kawhi Leonard should re-sign with Raptors, wonders if Lakers have lost their appeal

Chase Hughes
NBC Sports Washington
Wizards center Dwight Howard appeared on Fox Sports 1 and said Kawhi Leonard should re-sign with the Raptors this summer.
Wizards center Dwight Howard appeared on Fox Sports 1 and said Kawhi Leonard should re-sign with the Raptors this summer.

Dwight Howard says Kawhi Leonard should re-sign with Raptors, wonders if Lakers have lost their appeal originally appeared on nbcsportswashington.com

This NBA offseason could see a collection of star players change teams either via free agency or trades. The futures of guys like Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant could alter the course of NBA history.

Wizards center Dwight Howard knows a little something about being a star player looking for a new home. Back in his prime, he was the best defender in the NBA and a top-five player in the league. But through his late 20s, he bounced around from team-to-team, first orchestrating his own exit from the Orlando Magic.

So, Howard's perspective on what Leonard will do next is an interesting one. Leonard already got his wish by leaving San Antonio, much like Howard did when he went from the Magic to the Lakers. Howard then left L.A. for Houston, again departing on bad terms.

Howard has had some time to reflect on those decisions and, if he were Leonard, he wouldn't go anywhere.

"To me, I think he should stay in Toronto," Howard said Thursday on 'First Things First' on Fox Sports 1. "Because he took the team to the Finals. If he wins, why would he go anywhere else?"

Howard, now 33, wanted some of what Leonard now has in Toronto when he plotted his exit from Orlando. He wanted to win and to play in a bigger market.

Howard sees an opportunity for Leonard that he himself wouldn't pass up.

"I think he will be able to live in Toronto forever and not have to spend a dime. He can move his whole family to Toronto and live there for the rest of his life," Howard said.

Toronto is a big city, but Howard now sees things differently when it comes to major NBA markets. Times are different than 2012 when Howard was traded to the Lakers. He believes social media has leveled the playing field for players in smaller cities.

"I don't know if [the Lakers] are the draw anymore. I think now guys understand that in the era that we live in, the social media age, you can play anywhere and get attention."

Howard didn't make any news involving himself during his appearance on the show, though he did say he's "getting his legs right" and has lost some weight since the regular season ended in April. Howard missed the final five months of the Wizards' season due to back surgery. Now feeling better, he even joked he wants to enter the 2020 dunk contest. 

The Wizards, of course, would like him to be healthy next season. He exercised the $5.4 million player option in his contract to stick around for a second year. After he only played nine games in 2018-19, they will take what they can get.

























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