Warriors Rejected Howard, Wiz Did Not

Dwight Howard and Donald Trump have something in common other than that their first names start with the same letter. They now live in the same city. When he clears waivers, Dwight will be signed as a Washington Wizard, the big man the Wizards need to replace Marcin Gortat. Howard will be an upgrade from the slow and old Gortat. Dwight can still rebound. He is still a rim protector. Last season, his 2.6 blocks were a four year high but nowhere near his 4.3 blocks the season he went to the NBA Finals when he was 23 years old. Howard will be 33 in December. He is on the back side of his career. But regardless of the positive attributes he can still bring and that he is a sure fire Hall of Famer, Howard still has that problem of teammates hating him.

Looking for a job, he coveted the love and happiness of the Warriors. The Lakers made it easy for Dwight, stealing the Warriors big man JaVale McGhee. The Warriors needed a big. But they passed over Howard for DeMarcus Cousins who may not even play next year. So here’s the logic: a banged up Boogie whose game may be permanently impacted by the injury he suffered to his Achilles is better than Dwight Howard. You choose. Half of Boogie or Howard ready to go on day one?

Howard was a no across the board though no one on the Warriors said specifically why when he can still rebound. He’s never been much of a passer so he wouldn’t fit in that way. Dwight has  baggage he has never been able to outrun.  Boogie had the support of Warriors teammates who played with him on the Olympic team (2016). It left Dwight to do the next best thing. Live where Donald Trump lives.

The Wizards aren’t a piece of cake. From time to time we are sucked in to the John Wall-Bradley Beal soap opera. Dwight famously has not gotten along with shooting guards so we’ll see how this version of Howard fares.

The Wizards are a perimeter shooting team and their front court is an afterthought. But John Wall is a pick and roll point guard. Howard should get some easy lobs and dunks. The Wizards will find a more athletic big than they had in Gortat.

But Howard is complicated. He’ll come in and be the good soldier and then he’ll complain about touches and minutes. He gets frustrated very easily. The Wizards struggle finishing games off because their best player, John Wall, isn’t an offensive threat. And neither is Dwight. His range is right around the basket. Nothing more than that. A lot of the time in closing quarters, Wall dominates the ball and everyone else is spectating. That has proven problematic for Howard in the past.

The Wizards will get to the playoffs and may be a 3 seed now that LeBron has left the conference. But they need a better offense. They are too predictable. When the three ball is rolling they are hard to beat. When it is not, they struggle in the half court.

Dwight Howard has been on 7 NBA teams but played for 6. Orlando was his perfect ten. Los Angeles was a Kobe nightmare. Houston started off well but then he and James Harden had issues. Atlanta was forgettable. When he was with the Hawks they lost in the playoffs to the Wizards. Howard was benched in the 4th quarter as a space the floor team was thought to be better suited against the Wizards. Of course Dwight complained and then he was gone. He was good in Charlotte but after he was traded to the Nets, a salary cap move, players were happy he was gone. He never played a game with the Nets; he was bought out. And so now in the District, here comes Howard.

Here comes Dwight Howard, Washington Wizards.