It was a short stop in DC for Dwight Howard. Now, Howard’s future in the NBA is in question. The Wizards get some wing depth in C.J. Miles.
The Wizards have traded Dwight Howard to the Memphis Grizzlies for C.J .Miles per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Dwight Howard used to be one of the best centers in the league. Howard is an eight time All-Star, three time Defensive Player of the Year, and five time All-NBA first team member. Now, Howard’s best years are behind him and have been for quite sometime.
The Wizards signed Howard last summer to a two year, $11 million deal. However, he only saw the court nine times as a Wizard. Howard missed all of training camp, preseason, and the Wizards first seven regular season games with a sore butt. After nine games, playing a career low 25.6 minutes per game, Howard opted to undergo spinal surgery to relieve pain in his glutes, causing him to miss the rest of the season. In the nine games he played in, he averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Howard is now on his way to Memphis where he is expected to be waived, making him a free agent. He will look to join his fifth team in five years.
In the trade, the Wizards received wingman C.J. Miles. Miles is a veteran, playing in his 15th season and sixth team next season. He is best known for his lethal three point shooting. For his career, Miles shoots just over four threes a game, making them about 36 percent of the time.
Last season, Miles started the year in Toronto, and then was traded at the deadline to Memphis in the Marc Gasol trade. He averaged 6.4 points per game.
Many Wizards fans may remember Miles as he is on the large list of Wizards killers. Miles seems to always catch fire when playing the Wizards, knocking down three after three. His best game against the Wizards came in November, 2015, when he was on the Pacers. Miles lit the Wizards up, scoring 32 points and hit eight out of nine threes, leading the Pacers to a blowout victory.
Adding Miles to the Wizards roster was a huge addition. The Wizards were in great need of wing depth with little cap space and not many viable free agents remaining. Now, while the Wizards can still benefit from adding more depth, they can feel some relief. Miles will likely begin the year in the starting lineup. However, if Troy Brown takes a large leap forward, he could replace him in the starting lineup and Miles could come off the bench.
Miles is on the last year of his contract, meaning he will be a free agent next season. This makes the trade very low risk-high reward. If Miles does not work out, they can look at other options next season with more cap space to work with.
With Dwight Howard now gone, it is time for Thomas Bryant to step into the spotlight. Bryant had a breakout year last season, averaging 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and shot over 60% from the field. The 21 year old just resigned with the Wizards to a three year, $25 million deal. With Howard out of the picture, Bryant will be getting a large load of minutes. We will have to see if he can take another large step forward and live up to his new contract.