Washington Wizards: 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Juwan Howard, Washington Wizards
Juwan Howard, Washington Wizards. Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport /
  • Seven seasons w/Bullets/Wizards (1994-01)
  • All-NBA Third Team (1995-96)
  • NBA All-Star (1995-96)
  • All-Rookie Second Team (1994-95)
  • 464 career games w/Bullets/Wizards
  • 18.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists w/Bullets/Wizards

Juwan Howard is best known for being one of the starting forwards on the famous Michigan Wolverines’ “Fab Five” during his college days. The “Fab Five” went to back-to-back NCAA championships, but were never able cut down the nets by winning a national title. After three years in Ann Arbor, Howard decided to go pro, resulting in being the No. 5 overall pick by the Bullets in the 1994 NBA Draft.

Though his former college teammates in Chris Webber and Jalen Rose garnered more of the spotlight, Howard played in the league the longest (19 seasons) and is the only one to win an NBA championship. That title came as a member of the 2011-12 Miami Heat led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He also played sparingly as the team that repeated in Miami the next season before retiring.

Howard might have spent the bulk of his NBA career as a journeyman forward, but let’s not forget how talented he was during his first 6.5 seasons in the league with the Bullets/Wizards. He was named to the All-Rookie Second Team in 1994-95, averaging 17.0 points, 8.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds. What came next was Howard’s best season as a professional.

In year two, Howard made his lone trip to the NBA All-Star Game, as he averaged 22.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in 1995-96. Howard would also end up making the All-NBA Third Team that season, his only All-NBA squad of his two-decade career.

Although Howard was an excellent forward for the Bullets/Wizards in the late 1990s, that didn’t translate to winning. Washington only made the playoffs once during his stay in 1996-97. He would be traded to the Dallas Mavericks in February 2001, jumpstarting his career as a journeyman the rest of the way. He never spent more than three years in anyone place going forward.

In 464 career games in Washington, Howard averaged 18.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 38.5 minutes per contest. Even though Washington wasn’t the least bit good during his stay with the team, Howard was certainly worth the No. 5 overall pick the club invested in him back in the 1994 NBA Draft.