A year ago, the Houston Rockets could not convince Dwight Howard to stay in Houston as he signed a three-year, $71 million deal to return to his hometown.
Today, the Hawks unceremoniously dumped Howard off in a trade.
Dwight is headed to Charlotte. But the interesting part about it is it appears that his value is incredibly low, if not negative value altogether on that contract.
Sources: Charlotte is sending Miles Plumlee, Marco Belenelli and 41st pick to Atlanta for Dwight Howard and 31st pick.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 21, 2017
While recognizing his weaknesses, I’ve been a fan of Howard’s on and off the court so I don’t write this to mock him. But I found it interesting for two reasons.
First, it shines some light on the 2016 trade deadline when the Rockets reportedly shopped Howard heavily but didn’t pull the trigger. If the offers were Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and a move down in the draft, then we understand now why Daryl Morey didn’t make a deal. They were looking for picks but likely never got anything of significance.
Second, the league has changed and Dwight Howard is not fitting in. Theoretically, he should. In fact, he should be the ideal center in the modern NBA and the Rockets certainly thought he would be when they signed him in 2013. But injuries, his own reluctance to play a different role and some other factor about him that you just can’t put a finger on has made him a square peg in a round hole. An inefficient post-up center who can’t hit free throws and believes the offense needs to run through him is, plain and simple, a dinosaur in today’s up-tempo sets that thrive on quickness, efficiency, versatility and the three ball.
Don’t be sorry for Dwight. He’s got millions upon millions and has lived it up in the NBA. Charlotte, with their defensive coach and mindset, might be the jumpstart he needs, but I think it’s safe to say this is the last opportunity (if it hasn’t passed already) that Dwight is going to get to be an impact player in this changing league.