Dwight Howard was at one point an NBA superstar and one of the most dominant big men that the league has ever seen. Back in the days with the Orlando Magic, Howard was highly coveted by most teams. Since then, however, Howard has struggled with attitude issues and has bounced around the league with the Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, and Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets this offseason.
Following the trade, the Nets decided to buy Howard out of his contract. The buyout was finally completed yesterday and Howard quickly moved on and signed a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards, as reported by CBS Sports.
Washington was in need of finding a new center after trading Marcin Gortat for Austin Rivers. Howard may not be viewed as a great teammate, but he is still capable of putting up big numbers.
Last season with the Hornets, Howard ended up averaging 16.6 points per game to go along with 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He shot 55.5 percent from the field.
All of that being said, why was signing Howard such a good move for the Wizards despite the perception around the league that he is bad for the locker room?
Washington Has Needed a Legitimate Post Scorer
Even though Gortat was a solid big man for the Wizards, the team needed a consistent post scorer. Howard may not be as good as he once was, but Washington is getting a post threat with this signing. Washington will not have to rely on guard play alone for their scoring and can run some of their offense through Howard on the block.
Howard Will Bring Rim Protection
Another key for the Wizards signing Howard is the defensive ability that he will bring to the court. Scott Brooks will love having the rim protection that Howard brings to the court. Howard will help immensely on the defensive end of the court and will make things much more difficult for opponents in the paint.
A One Year Deal Means Howard Has to Prove Himself
Throughout his entire career, Howard has played better when he has a chip on his shoulder trying to prove himself to the rest of the league. That will be the case this season for the 32-year-old big man this season. Washington will get the very best version of Howard as he tries to earn a bigger deal next offseason.
Expect to see Howard make a positive impact on the Wizards this season. Without LeBron James in the Eastern Conference, Washington may have a chance to make some noise. In order to compete with teams like the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, and Toronto Raptors, the Wizards will need Howard to step up in a big way.