Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is expected to hit the free agency market this summer and according to Ian Begley of ESPN, the eight-time All-Star is interested in signing with the New York Knicks should he choose to test the waters.
Begley was clear to also mention that it was unclear if the Knicks were also interested in bringing him aboard, but Howard heading to the Big Apple would certainly upgrade a Knicks team that could really use one.
But there are obstacles in Howard’s potential path to New York. The Knicks already have center Robin Lopez locked in through 2019 and there is also rookie power forward Kristaps Porzingis to consider. Throw in team star Carmelo Anthony and the fact that he plays better at the 4, and the Knicks’ situation is an absolute mess that needs to sort itself out before even considering bringing Howard aboard.
Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Howard could wind up being a star in New York if team president Phil Jackson is still intent on the triangle offense being used. That system calls for a strong center, and Howard can be just that despite having one of the worst seasons of his career this year, with Howard averaging just 14.9 points and 12 rebounds to go with 1.5 blocks per game, the scoring total being the lowest since his rookie year in 2004-2005. Howard has also had his fair share of injury issues over the past few years, so there is another reason for the Knicks to not pursue him.
And despite all of that, the Knicks should still pursue him in free agency because Dwight Howard is still Dwight Howard. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and at 30 years old still has enough gas left in the tank that he can make a positive impact on some team. Regarding Lopez, enough money would be involved that he could probably be moved in a sign-and-trade. In terms of Porzingis and Anthony, that’s something to be sorted out another day.
Needless to say, if Howard were indeed to join the Knicks, New York could easily become a contender in the Eastern Conference.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports