The Washington Wizards are reportedly interested in Dwight Howard, who is likely soon to be a free agent after his buyout is complete.
The Washington Wizards are reportedly interested in Dwight Howard, who is likely soon to be a free agent once the Brooklyn Nets complete the process of trading for him and buying him out, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports on Twitter.
Howard played for the Charlotte Hornets last year and averaged 16.6 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, and shot 55.5% from the floor.
Earlier this offseason, the Hornets traded Howard to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Timofey Mozgov and the Nets’ 2018 second-round pick and 2021 second round pick. The Nets are expected to buyout Howard’s contract, making him a free agent.
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The move by the Nets was purely a contract dump, as Mozgov has a four-year, $64 million contract that he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Last year, Mozgov played in just 31 games for the Nets and averaged 4.2 points per game.
Once Howard becomes a free agent, Kyler reported that he was likely to land either with the Washington Wizards or the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors recently lost JaVale McGee to the Los Angeles Lakers via free agency, which left them with Jordan Bell and former first-round pick Damian Jones at the center position. However, considering the Warriors just signed DeMarcus Cousins, their need at the center position is filled.
The Wizards are similarly desperate at the center position, having traded Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers for guard Austin Rivers. With Gortat gone, that leaves the oft-injured Ian Mahinmi as the likely starter with Jason Smith and Thomas Bryant (recently signed off waivers) behind him.
Having Howard would be excellent for the Wizards, who have needed a big, physical presence down low for a number of years now. Their backcourt has obviously been excellent, with John Wall and Bradley Beal leading the way. Plus, with a mix of Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre at the forward position, the team’s most glaring weakness has been their lack of a solid center.
Gortat was certainly usable for a number of years, but as age caught up with him, his skills began to decline significantly, leaving a noticeable hole in the Wizards frontcourt.
However adding a player like Howard, even if his scoring has declined some since his prime, would add a major physical and (most importantly) rebounding presence down low.
With LeBron James in the Western Conference now, the East is wide open for a team to take hold of. The Boston Celtics are the clear favorite to do just that, but if the Wizards are able to get their team together—which would include getting a center like Howard—they could be right there in the running too.