Dwight Howard has played for three franchises in the last five years. Don’t be surprised if he makes it four in six.
Yes, after three semi-successful-but-mainly-underwhelming seasons in Houston – not to mention a tumultuous ending in Orlando and a disaster in Los Angeles – Howard figures to be on the move this offseason.
You would think there wouldn’t be much interest in a guy who a) just had his worst season in more than a decade and b) isn’t well-liked. Well, you would be wrong.
“Look, don’t be fooled: The marketplace for him is going to be robust,” The Vertical’s Chris Mannix said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “There will be maybe half of the teams in the league trying to sign Dwight Howard. Now, if you say that the criteria is that Dwight gets a max contract, well, that number is whittled by about 99 percent – perhaps all the way to 100 percent. I don’t know if there’s a team out there that (would give Howard) a four-year max that could be worth north of $100 million. That’s just not in the offing anymore. But in today’s salary-cap-explosion NBA – where the cap was up to $90 million this year and will likely be $110 million next year – is offering Dwight Howard a three-year, $60-million deal out of the question? Of course not.”
Howard, 30, averaged 13.7 points this year – his fewest since his rookie season in 2004-05 – to go along with 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Those aren’t bad numbers, but if you’re making in excess of $20 million a year, they are.
“Dwight struggled in that last year in Houston,” Mannix said. “He clearly didn’t mesh with James Harden, but he can play still. He really can. I think in the right situation he can average 18 and 12, and as much as we beat up on Dwight Howard, there really aren’t a lot of guys that can do that in the NBA today. So I think you’re going to see a lot of teams – I’m not kidding, half of the teams in the league – aggressively go after Dwight Howard, as long as the price is right.”