Dwight Howard Free Agency: Potential Landing Spots for the Big-Man
Dwight Howard free agency is about to begin. He is at a crossroads in his career and now has a decision to make after this season. Wherever Howard does decide to go in free agency, it will most likely be highly publicized and criticized, as we’ve seen in the past.
The thirty-year-old center is at a decline in his career, struggling with what seems like an endless amount of injuries. He could either still believe he is a max player, which he is most certainly not, or join a contender for a reasonable amount of money.
Whatever he believes, there will still be teams vying for his signature as many teams do have the money to sign Howard. Here is a preview of how Dwight Howard free agency stint might look, with some of his potential landing spots.
The idea behind this is simple: Howard is from Atlanta and the Hawks are more than likely going to lose their center, Al Horford, in free agency. This would leave a huge whole at center, a whole that Howard could more than fill. The thing about this pairing, though, is that it does not make too much sense.
The Hawks are trying to be the Eastern Conference’s version of the Spurs, constant ball movement and whipping passes from one side to the other. Howard doesn’t exactly fit that mold, frequently stopping the ball movement once it gets into his hands. If the Hawks are desperate to stay in the playoff picture after Horford potentially leaves, the Hawks front office will have to take a long look at bringing Howard back home.
Danny Ainge needs a star, plain and simple. It is time to bring in someone that can get the Celtics deeper into the playoffs. Whether that is Kevin Durant, who the Celtics have a stronger case than any team not based in Oklahoma to sign, or if it is another all-star, possibly Howard.
Ainge could just swallow the pill that is waiting one more season to make a splashy move, but after this year’s team has achieved so much, and possibly even more in the playoffs, it seems like Boston needs someone who can move the needle. Howard fits that bill. Even as he enters his thirties, he can bring the Celtics much needed star power while the rest of their young core blossoms.
Howard could throw everyone a curve ball and try to make a triumph return back to the city he abandoned. This would mean that the Orlando Magic front office would be getting rid of starting center Nikola Vucevic in the off-season. Vucevic is the perfect center for a fantasy basketball team, but not for a team trying to win games.
The Magic have one of the most exciting young teams in the league, but can not translate that into wins. Enter a veteran presence like Howard, who has played on the NBA’s biggest stage, and we may see that young exciting core actually be able to move into the postseason. The Magic would surely need to pay Howard a max-contract-like salary, so that could pose a potential problem for the decision makers in Orlando as they decide if Howard is the type of player worth paying that kind of money.
Every year, the Mavericks seem to be linked to signing a big free agent. And every year, it seems like they fall flat on their face. Last season, they even had DeAndre Jordan seemingly signed, then that fiasco happened. Deron Williams was supposed to sign with them, but Mark Cuban chose shooting Shark Tank over a meeting with the point guard. The biggest free agents have been Chandler Parsons, who can leave after this season, and Wesley Matthews, who looks like a shell of his former self.
Parsons, a former teammate of Howard, said that he is excited to explore free agency with Howard. This could mean that Parsons will be trying to recruit Howard to whatever team he is choosing to sign with. With Zaza Pachulia being the starting center, Cuban should be trying to sign someone who can bring a substantial improvement to the front-court.
Overall, Dwight Howard free agency stint will be a highly publicized decision that Howard has to make. It is obvious that his run in Houston is over, with the Rockets currently ninth in the standings. There seems to be no reason to sign Howard after this season.
These teams listed above should be a suitor for the all-star center and would be improvements to what those teams currently have. Either way, Howard has not only a decision on where to play after this season, but if he really thinks that he is a max player as well.