No, it’s just Dwight Howard. And the man that once gave himself the moniker of Superman is at a strange spot in his career. At age 30, Howard has somehow managed to play himself out of the prime of his career. Just one draft class behind LeBron James, Dwight Howard was ever-so-shortly involved in the topic of NBA’s (and the world’s) best player.
Now he’s struggling on a team a game below .500 while battling the constant reality of a star on a struggling team who is getting paid a max deal. Unfortunately for Howard, the Houston Rockets also have James Harden and keeping such prized talent is tough if you can’t win games. And sometimes it just doesn’t make sense when considering continuity.
While giving up James Harden (who still has two years on his contract extension) to a team with tons of cap room in the coming year and valuable assets would be enticing, it doesn’t make sense. When Harden was the third-wheel in Oklahoma City, no one in their right mind thought he was a top 5 player in the league. But if not that high, he’s right outside that level and getting better.
So Howard is obviously the guy to go. He’s an old school back to the basket guy with limited (if any) range. Andre Drummond might make him look like John Starks or Reggie Miller from the free throw line, but he’s more Shaq from that distance than anything.
As a former Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA, Howard has been oft-injured and playing uninspired despite his willingness to sign with the Rockets on a 4-year deal. But at 22.5 million for next season, he has an opt-out in his clause that it appears he is likely to use. It’s tough to gauge what a good fit might be for Howard, but any place that values defense and plays less up and down would be to his advantage.
While there’s currently talk of interest in the league, it will be curious to see how the guy gets himself to perform. The last week or so he’s been great. And his numbers overall are above average. But the dominance of a few years ago (when he was dunking on 10-foot tall hoops during All-Star Weekend) feels like decades ago. And a player with so much talent is seemingly withering away in mediocrity.