According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, center Dwight Howard will sign with the Washington Wizards.
Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reported that the team planned to do this once Howard's buyout agreement with the Brooklyn Nets was complete. Once he clears waivers, he is free to sign with the Wizards. Since they are well into the luxury tax, Washington will use their $5.3 million taxpayer mid-level exception to make the move.
Howard was traded to Brooklyn by the Charlotte Hornets last month in exchange for Timofey Mozgov, two second-round picks, and cash considerations. About a day later, Howard expressed interest in a buyout so that he could sign with a contending team. It appears he got his wish.
He can still contribute
Injuries and age have sapped Howard of some of his elite athleticism, rendering him a lesser version of the player he once was. However, he can still produce at a high level when he is motivated. Last season for the Hornets, Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game with a 57.7 true shooting percentage and a 20.5 Player Efficiency Rating. For his career, Howard has averaged 17.4 points, 12.7 boards and two blocks per game.
What does he add to the Wizards?
This was something that ESPN's Zach Lowe briefly discussed a week ago on The Jump. With the Wizards trading Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers for Austin Rivers, there was an open spot for a starting center on the team, so this move made perfect sense (well, more sense than starting Ian Mahinmi). If Howard comes in and simply sets good screens, rolls to the hoop for easy layups and plays good defense, that this will be a good signing for the Wizards. However, if Howard refuses to settle for that role and constantly asks for the ball in the post -- and there's a non-zero chance of that happening -- then this could spell trouble for a Washington team that struggled with chemistry issues last year en route to a first-round playoff exit.