With Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard set to enter free agency in the 2020 offseason, a recent article suggested that there are a few teams — including the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and Toronto Raptors — that could potentially benefit from signing the eight-time All-Star.
As explained on Monday morning by Bleacher Report, Howard is currently in the middle of a “classic late-career renaissance” despite the fact that he is seeing the fewest minutes in his career and playing alongside a number of similarly “mercurial” personalities. With his second run with the Lakers seemingly going much better than his one-year stint in 2012-13, the 34-year-old has been quite productive off the bench, registering his highest blocks-per-36-minutes numbers in seven seasons and shooting an impressive 72.9 percent from the field.
Despite Howard’s strong performance in 2019-20, the outlet cautioned that this might be an “aberration” caused by LeBron James’ influence and the possibility that he sent the big man an “implicit message” that he needed to “fit in or get cut quickly.” That, as noted, would make the former Defensive Player of the Year a risky signing for most teams, but a plausible one for those that — much like the Lakers — have the same combination of a “superstar with gravitas” and an ideal role for Howard to play.
“Teams like the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers or Toronto Raptors might welcome the jolt Howard could bring off their respective benches and each has the organizational culture to weather the big man’s more curious tendencies,” Bleacher Report stressed.
This isn’t the first time that Howard has been linked to the Celtics as a potential free-agent acquisition. In February, he was among the big men suggested in a previous Bleacher Report article as a player who could help Boston add more depth at the center position while also likely being willing to sign for a mid-level exception or, at the very least, a veteran minimum contract.
As for the Clippers and Raptors, neither team has been mentioned prominently as a possible suitor for Howard, though the former team’s most productive center, Montrezl Harrell, is set to enter unrestricted free agency in the 2020 offseason, as noted by CBS Sports. That, too, applies to Toronto’s incumbent starter at the “five” position, 35-year-old Marc Gasol.
As shown on his Basketball-Reference team page, Howard also averaged 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 18.9 minutes per game, despite starting just two out of 69 regular-season games. Over his 16-season career, the former No. 1 overall draft pick has posted averages of 16.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks and has converted 58.6 percent of his field-goal attempts.