Storyline: Dwight Howard Free Agency

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After the Lakers and Briscoe were given permission to seek the opportunity by the Grizzlies, Howard and Kidd were able to connect in person, league sources told The Athletic. They discussed life, their playing days together, the possibility of Howard joining the Lakers. Howard’s message to Kidd and the Lakers was the same one he delivered to The Athletic in July from NBA summer league: He’s learned from the past several seasons, learned that, at age 33, he is simply one of the guys now. Howard believes he can contribute at a high level for any NBA team, but the eight-time All-Star also understands he has to focus on rebounding, defense, blocking shots, finishing around the rim and simply playing whenever he is asked. He has accepted it — as much as those in the basketball community have doubted his words.

Howard-to-Lakers unlikely

Windhorst thinks the Lakers are doing their proper due diligence, but says Howard coming back to the Purple and Gold is probably not going to happen. “I don’t think it’s a very likely marriage,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “I think the Lakers right now are doing their due diligence on players, on available centers. Joakim Noah’s another guy they’ve looked at. “Dwight Howard has been on four different teams in the last four years. The Lakers are in need of somebody who can be healthy and give them minutes and that doesn’t fit who Dwight Howard or Joakim Noah are at this point of their careers.

So does the Lakers’ recent affinity for Howard actually make sense? Should they really be after the eight-time All-Star? Are there not better options out there? According to one anonymous NBA executive who spoke to HoopsHype, the low-risk, high-reward nature of such a deal, one that would be worth the veteran minimum if it does happen, would make it a worthwhile gamble for Los Angeles. “Personal baggage aside, I would sign him,” the executive said. “He’s clearly the best player available if he’s healthy. We’ve heard the same song from him for years [as far as changing]. But for the minimum? Why not? If it doesn’t work, they move on.”

Miles would’ve had value next season as a shooter and veteran. But the Grizzlies were left with less than a million in space under the luxury tax line and needed to clear additional space to set up more moves. By swapping Miles with Howard, Memphis trimmed more than $3M off the books. Miles was set to hit free agency next summer and wasn’t necessarily a long-term piece. The Grizzlies aren’t planning to keep Howard, a league source told The Athletic. This was purely a money-saving maneuver.

The Washington Wizards are looking to fill their super-sized hole at center with a player once known as Superman. Center Dwight Howard, who was traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Charlotte Hornets prior to the NBA draft, wants a buyout to become an unrestricted free agent. Once the trade becomes official and terms of Howard’s buyout are completed, the Wizards plan to be at the front of the line to offer a contract to the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and eight-time all-star, according to several people in the league familiar with the team’s plans.

Sam Amick on Dwight Howard: “There are a lot of teams, maybe the majority of teams, that [won’t consider him at all due to his history]. That’s a hard yes. First of all, what’s interesting is that his buyout isn’t done yet. His timing isn’t great. They haven’t completed the buyout. I need to go back and look, but I believe Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the trade with the Brooklyn Nets can’t go down until July 6. But I do know for a fact, independent of that, they haven’t even agreed on a number [for the buyout]. That part still has to get resolved. Then, as far as his prospects, he’s like DeMarcus [Cousins] in the sense that he’d like to play with LeBron [James]. That’s definitely on his radar.”

Sam Amick: “Dwight Howard wants to play with the Warriors and he would want it to be on the mid-level, that $5.3 million. It’d be a huge paycut for him, but he’d like to play for the Warriors. But barring a change there, I don’t see it happening. There a lot of folks within that organization who are looking at him sideways. I’ve heard some talk that maybe he could try to get a meeting and see them face-to-face to help them get a sense of who he is as a person and try to get rid of that stigma, then maybe something happens. But unless that happens, I don’t see it happening. New Orleans and Washington are both possibilities from there. He’s going to have an NBA job, but he’s one of those guys whose reputation precedes him and that’s not helping his cause.”

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has signed free agent center Dwight Howard, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “We would like to welcome Dwight, and his family, home to Atlanta and into our Hawks basketball family. We feel Dwight will have a huge impact on both ends of the court with his physical presence and the force he brings to the game,” Budenholzer said. “We also look forward to his impact in our community as we all look to take Atlanta to another level on the court and off. We feel very fortunate to add a player of Dwight’s caliber and we look forward to assimilating Dwight into our team.”
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September 17, 2019 | 7:21 pm EDT Update
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“FIBA made a mistake moving the World Cup into odd years,” David Stern, the former N.B.A. commissioner, recently told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “And as a result, you are asking players to play in the FIBA world championship, play in the season and then play in the Olympics. And I think that pushed a lot of players to feel that they should make a choice between back-to-back years of international competition.”
Utah’s Rudy Gobert and I had a brief chance to chat about this issue — again — after he and his teammates clinched the bronze medal for France in a victory over Australia in FIBA’s third-place game on Sunday. “I wish all the best players would come, but it’s never going to happen,” Gobert said of the modern N.B.A. player’s approach in the Load Management Era. “They think about themselves more than anything — and it’s understandable. It’s a business. We all have families to take care of.”
Dunleavy is now an assistant general manager toward the top of a Warriors front office that lost Jerry West and Travis Schlenk, two forceful voices, the last three years. West is now an executive board member with the Clippers and Schlenk is the GM of the Atlanta Hawks. Dunleavy moves to the Bay Area in a few weeks, a ghost of Warriors’ past stepping into an increased role reshaping the franchise’s future.
Storyline: Warriors Front Office