Washington Wizards: Pros and Cons of Dwight Howard’s Player Option

Washington Wizards Dwight Howard (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Dwight Howard (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Dwight Howard
Washington Wizards Dwight Howard (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /


News of a 33-year-old center returning to the Wizards after dealing with back issues all season isn’t exactly inspiring,. However, keeping Howard on the books next season for $5.6 million isn’t the worst thing in the world. Despite the emergence of Thomas Bryant, Howard  is still the Wizards’ most skilled big man.


Howard’s presence on the floor immediately improves the Wizards’ horrid rebounding efforts. Nine games may not be the most accurate sample size, but in his nine games this season, Howard averaged 9.2 rebounds per game. Bobby Portis‘s 8.6 was second-best.

The Wizards finished the season ranked an embarrassingly low 27th in total rebounding and 28th in rebounds against. Howard alone should help boost those numbers.

Veteran Experience

Howard may not have the best reputation as a locker room leader or mentor, but there is something to be said about a guy who’s lasted 14 season in the NBA. If the Wizards hope to bring back some of their younger frountcourt players like Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis, Howard may be a good veteran for them to learn from.

Relatively Cheap-ish

The player option that Howard accepted isn’t a great deal. He’s probably not getting that kind of money on the market this off-season (hence the swiftness with which he opted in), especially after spending most of the season on the sidelines.

But if Howard can return healthy and serviceable, it’s not terrible value. Teams will be dealing with worse center contracts than his in 2019-220. The Charlotte Hornets will owe Bismack Biyombo $17M, the Minnesota Timberwolves are set to pay Gorgui Dieng $16.2M, and the Portland Trailblazers’ Meyers Leonard will get $11.3M.