After being drafted into the NBA in 2004 Dwight Howard went right to the bank cashing in a 3 year contract worth $13.5 million. In 2008 his net worth rivaled that of the top athletes in the world. He began earning $13.5 million a year during his 5 year contract worth $83.2 million and by 2012 the last year of his contract he was earning $18 million. That same year he was traded to Los Angeles (LAL) from Orlando (ORL) as part of a 4-team trade. LA paid him $19 million this season but his contract for the 2013-2014 season is still in the air.
There have been major talks that Dwight would consider leaving the Lakers. The rumors are based off conflict between he and the head coach. Howard, a seven-time All-Star, has vowed to make his decision in his own best interests, giving no indication he favored the Lakers over any other team. With his athleticism and the fact that Kobe is still recovering from an injury if LA want to be on top again they realize the urgency to keep Howard. The Lakers can offer a maximum of $118 million over five seasons, and other teams can offer $88 million over four years.