Dwight Howard is coming to the Washington Wizards as his buyout with the Brooklyn Nets is being finalized, as many may already have known. However, Adrian Wojnaworski of ESPN reports, the deal between Howard and the Wizards will be a two-year deal worth $11 million with a player option.
Brooklyn finalized buyout with Dwight Howard, clearing way for him to sign 2-year, $11M deal with Washington, league sources tell ESPN. Deal includes player option.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2018
Howard, 32, was initially thought to be signing a one-year deal. Giving him the second year as an option gives Howard some insurance at his age. He is coming off a season he averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.6 blocks while shooting 55.5 percent from the field.
Washington is filling a hole at center after trading away Marcin Gortat for Austin Rivers, but Howard presents an upgrade for the position. With the team having aspirations of winning the Eastern Conference behind the leadership of John Wall and Bradley Beal, Howard’s style of play may mesh better with the dynamic duo. If so, Howard will have a chance at regaining his market value and would be better off opting out. He may love it here, and with success decide to play another year at a very reasonable price of around $5.5 million.
Yes, things could go horribly wrong and he decides to save himself with another year of financial security. Still, he makes the team better at his peak and with reports surfacing of him wanting to change the negative image that has followed him in recent years around the NBA, the Wizards may be getting a motivated individual that has a different agenda at this stop in his career.
With all due respect to the Wizards centers who came before Dwight Howard…John Wall has never had a center that can do the things D12 can do. Period. pic.twitter.com/nLCAP03uXa
— HoopDistrict (@HoopDistrictDC) July 5, 2018
Let’s face it, Gortat made $12 million per year on avearge and he did not put up 17 and 13 and was a chemistry issue within the organization. Taking a risk on Howard that could cost a second year at more-than-half less than Gortat is still more bearable.
Howard at his age can still contribute at a large rate on pick-and-rolls, protecting the rim, and controlling the paint on both ends. He does have his struggles like switching on smaller guards and holding ball handlers. But again, he’s an upgrade from Gortat, who struggled mightily in those areas and then some.