Dwight Howard signed with the Wizards this offseason for the Tax Payers Mid-Level exception, which is about $5.4 million for this year then he will have a player option to resign for next year. Howard joins John Wall as the second player on the team to go #1 overall in the draft.
Howard was drafted in 2004 by the Magic with the top pick, he spent eight seasons with them and turned into a superstar. Howard led the Magic to the finals in the best season of his career and throughout his eight seasons with them made the All-NBA first team five times.
After leaving the Magic, Howard’s career has taken a turn for the worse, the Wizards will be the fourth team in four years for him with last year being on the Charlotte Hornets.
Just by looking at the stats, it is easy to be impressed by what Howard accomplished last year. Unfortunately, it was more about off court issues than on court issues, as it always is with Howard. Many Hornets players complained about Howard’s attitude and the season ended with the Hornets trading him to the Nets for the terrible contract of Timofey Mosgov. The Nets then bought out Howard’s contract allowing him to become a free agent.
So two teams that did not make the playoffs last year clearly wanted no part of Howard, some may wonder how he is going to start for the Wizards, a team hoping to make a deep playoff run. For all of Dwight’s baggage and off the court issues he still produces numbers on the court. Whether those numbers are meaningful to wins is up to debate. But it appears as if Wall wanted Howard with the Wizards and Howard wants to be in DC, so one can have hope it will work out.
This is a boom or bust signing for the Wizards. It will either work out great and Howard will be a big upgrade on Gortat, or it will be a dumpster fire and the locker room will be worse than it was last year.