Will Dwight Howard Wear a Celtics Jersey?
After the Hornets traded Dwight Howard to the Nets, Brooklyn negotiated a buyout with the big man that is set to go into effect on July 6th. Howard will then become a free agent and choose his team for his 15th season. There has been speculation thus far that the Celtics have interest in bringing in “Superman”. Is this a good move?
Orlando drafted Howard number one overall selection in 2004, straight out of high school. He played his best basketball with the Magic, winning three consecutive DPOY awards from 2009-11. He was also an All-Star from 2007-14. The Magic then traded Howard to the Lakers in 2011. He played one rocky season there before moving to the Rockets. After three seasons there, he was with the Hawks and Hornets for one year each before this trade. Howard has always been a double-double machine, averaging 17 points and 13 rebounds in his career thus far. Although a terrible free throw shooter, he’s an excellent finisher around the rim and also an elite defensive threat in the paint.
How He Fits
There’s no doubt that Howard could be an important piece in the rotation. He’s a true big man, and his seven-foot frame is one that many say the team desperately needs. Last year with the Hawks, he averaged 12.7 rebounds. Al Horford, Boston’s leading rebounder, averaged 6.3. He would also add a bona-fide shot-blocker to Boston’s already top-tier defense.
However, his past is controversial to say the least. In Los Angeles, he butted heads with Kobe and his coach. Things got ugly with James Harden in Houston. Hawks players reportedly cheered aloud when he was traded. ESPN’s Brendan Haywood said Thursday that the Hornets didn’t want him in their locker room either. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Brad Stevens would be willing to deal with a player like that. However, he’s undeniable talent and Danny Ainge might be willing to overlook his off-court issues. He’d be coming off the bench, but if he can play 20 minutes a night with the second unit, he could make big contributions.
Will Boston Sign Howard?
The Celtics’ money situation is complicated. They’re already over the salary cap for this upcoming season based off of their guaranteed contracts. However, Howard had an interesting quote on which team he’ll sign with: “I want to be in a situation where I have an opportunity to help a team win. That’s my only goal.” If this is true, it’s possible that he would be willing to take less money to join Boston. The Celtics are obviously a franchise poised to contend, and if Howard means what he says, he might join them on a bargain. However, if Howard’s ego gets in the way and his demands get too high, Ainge would have no problem walking. Let’s see if Howard wants to take a reduced role and less pay in order to chase a championship ring with the Celtics.
Follow Jack on Twitter for more: @jackbuffett_