In his 14th NBA season, Dwight Howard averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game as a member of the Charlotte Hornets in 2017-2018.
However, averaging a double-double was not good enough to earn him a spot in the future plans of the Hornets, who shipped him off to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this summer.
His contract was then bought out by the Nets.
That allowed the 32-year-old center to explore free agency.
Since the Washington Wizards traded away Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Austin Rivers earlier this summer, it created a massive void in DC’s starting five.
They needed a center.
Luckily, Howard was on the market. So, point guard John Wall reached out to him. That instantly made up Howard’s mind for him.
“Once John hit me up, it was like, nah, this is the spot,” Howard said last week, per David Aldridge of TNT for NBA.com. “Not only did it feel right, but everything, from the point guard situation to the shooting guard, to the city. All of that. I’m very intrigued by Washington, D.C., itself … on the court, man, it just makes total sense. On the court in Golden State would have looked great. And we could have won. But the impact of winning in Golden State and D.C. is totally different.”
Therefore, Howard verified that he was thinking about joining the Golden State Warriors. He also believes that he’s going to be successful with his new team now that he’s healthy and committed to winning.
“Before, it was ‘numbers are everything.’ So when the numbers are there it’s ‘well, they’re not winning.’ Which I understand. It’s all about winning. But that’s why all that stuff is behind me. I’m healthy now. And I think this is the perfect situation to where, when we do win, then all of it’s going to make sense … I know what I can provide for a team on and off the court, and I’m looking forward to doing that here in D.C.,” Howard explained.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks is also excited about what his new center will bring to the table.
“Definitely, the game has changed,” Brooks noted. “But a lot of times with that change, it still remains the same. You need a big. And when you have a talented big, you use him. A lot of teams, there’s a little bit of growth going on with some of the younger bigs in the league … And (Howard) brings a skill set and a talent that, there’s only a few guys in the league that can do.”
Overall, it seems like Howard landed in the perfect spot in order to continue his Hall of Fame career as a starting center. Given the fact that the Eastern Conference could be a wide-open race, Washington is also a place in which he can put his past behind him and prove that winning is his primary concern.