Wizards can now finalize deal with Dwight Howard

Brian Tinsman
July 06, 2018 - 10:55 pm
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Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

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It isn't a done deal yet, but the Wizards cleared one more hurdle in their quest to add Dwight Howard, their presumed starting center for the 2018-19 season.

With the end of Friday came the expiration of the NBA's signing moratorium, which allowed Howard to part ways with the Brooklyn Nets via a contract buyout.

Technically, he still must clear waivers with a $23.8 million salary, before Washington can sign him for the agreed-upon two years, $11 million. This is considered a formality at this point.

NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news:

Howard is an eight-time All-Star after being selected every year between 2007-14. He has an impressive NBA awards list for his career, but none more recently than 2014.

That does not diminish his dominance, however, as he showed last year in Charlotte. He finished the year with a 30 point/30 rebound game, blocked his 2,000th shot, scored his 700th double-double game, played in his 1,000th NBA game, and became just the sixth NBA player to average a double-double across his first 13 seasons.

So, why move on from a player of that caliber? The word out of Charlotte is that the team was installing a quicker ball movement offense and that Howard would be coming off the bench. He has been a non-starter only once in his NBA career, and the team did not expect that to work out for him or them.

Then again, that might not be the whole truth. According to former Wizard-turned-NBA-reporter Brendan Haywood, Howard won't be missed in Charlotte, and there's a reason why Brooklyn was willing to cut bait on a player who could be a future Hall of Famer:

That matches reports from Atlanta, where players were thrilled to see him leave. Selfishness and toxicity in the locker room are reports that have dogged Howard back to his days with the Lakers, despite his many attempts to change his reputation.

Already, Howard's camp has convinced NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller and Chase Hughes that he can turn over a new leaf. Now, we'll just have to see if this is finally the year to reinvent himself.

He will replace Marcin Gortat in the starting lineup, who was flipped to the L.A. Clippers for Austin Rivers last month.

 

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