Dwight Howard might be the answer to the Washington Wizards big man problem. For years, John Wall has been begging for an athletic big man. Howard checks that box. For years, the Wizards have needed a defensive minded center. Howard also checks that box. With LeBron James headed to the Western Conference, the Wizards had to do something to make a wave in the now wide open Eastern Conference.
A season of Howard could make or break the Wizards. He still finishes at the rim, rebounds, and protects the rim with the best of them. However, he’s been a locker room problem in recent years. He managed to wear out his welcome with the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets. The Brooklyn Nets bought him out before he stepped food in their locker room.
What he’s worth
On the court, he seems effective. Last season in Charlotte, he averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds. Considering Washington finished 20th in total rebounds per game, they could certainly use the rebounding boost. If Washington can get Howard to embrace the pick and roll on offense, they could become a deadly duo. Washington hasn’t had a target for alley-oops since a young Javale McGee.
If the already reportedly hostile Wizards locker room can survive the addition of Howard they could be a contender in the east. At age 32, he still has enough talent to fill the void left by the Marcin Gortat trade and will definitely start over Ian Mahinmi. On paper a center with the ability that Howard has is perfect for the Wizards. It’s the name that brings questions.
Wall spoke with the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner about Howard joining the Wizards and the narrative that comes with him.
“I can’t force him. He has to want to be able to change on his own,” Wall said. “But I think he just helps our team, and that’s why he was probably the best center we could probably get at the time for our team.”
The Wizard’s franchise player clearly understands the risks and rewards that come with Howard.