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 John Wall
Washington Wizards Dwight Howard John Wall (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /


You may be able to talk yourself into another year of Dwight Howard and actually get excited for it, but you’ll probably just end up getting your hopes up for nothing. For every positive aspect of Howard’s return, there’s a negative to match.

Crowded Frontcourt

With Howard opting into his player option, the Wizards now have five players under contract for next season. Two of them are centers: Howard and Ian Mahinmi. The other three: John Wall, Bradley Beal and Troy Brown Jr.

Unlike Wall, Beal, and even Brown (to a degree), Howard and Mahinmi aren’t exactly centerpieces of the team. They aren’t building blocks. They aren’t even guaranteed playing time. The two played a total of 728 minutes last season. They are owed a combined $21M next season.

If the 2018-19 season was any indication, the Wizards are better suited with Bryant and Portis over Howard and Mahinmi. Both are restricted free agents this summer.

Enough Money to Go Around?

The Wizards created some cap flexibility with their trade deadline deals, but they still have a tall task ahead of them. With just five players on the books, the Wizards payroll is already up to $89.5M, giving them less than $20M in potential cap space. Bryant and Portis will both be looking for new lucrative contracts.

All the money the Wizards have sunk into Howard and Mahinmi could prevent them from getting the frontcourt duo they actually want. Bryant will probably end up costing the Wizards around $5M if they choose to retain him. A pretty affordable price tag, all things considered. Portis, however, is rumored to be looking for $16-20M. He might be a little harder to hold on to.

Past His Prime

The days of Dwight Howard being a dominant NBA center are over.  He’s 33 and coming off major back surgery.  Age, injuries, and a changing game have all caught up to a once All-NBA lock and potential Hall of Famer.

As proven by every team Howard’s played for since Orlando, he’s no longer the key to success. He may be serviceable, but it’d be better to just move on entirely.