The Atlanta Hawks had buyer’s remorse after signing Dwight Howard to a huge contract before the 2016-17 NBA season and traded the big man to the Charlotte Hornets.
The move came as a surprise to Howard, who hopes Charlotte is his last stop before retirement.
Dwight Howard says he can "hopefully finish his career here" in Charlotte with the #Hornets.
— Chris Kroeger (@Kroeger) June 26, 2017
Howard also hopes to prove his doubters (there are many, this scribe included) wrong and says he has a lot of gas left in his tank.
"A lot of people have written me off which is great, just going to make me work even harder. I have a lot left in the tank," – @DwightHoward
— Adam Wexler (@AdamJWexler) June 26, 2017
A man who has long struggled to find a shooting touch, Howard isn’t as athletic as he used to be. Furthermore, his low-post game just doesn’t fit in with the modern game. Showing himself to be at least somewhat aware of this fact, Howard has been working on his three-point shot to prolong his career.
Last season, Howard was utilized less than he ever has been throughout his career (29.7 minutes per game). He struggled to find a rhythm offensively and posted his worst points-per-game total (13.5) since his rookie season. He still hauled in plenty of rebounds (12.7 per game, which is his career average) but he’s clearly not the same rim protector he once was.
Howard could certainly surprise us by rebounding in a big way next season. But we’re not holding our breath. He is on a downward trend and has been for the past few seasons. Now at the age of 31, we’ll be shocked if he ever regains the form that made him one of the game’s most dominant big men in the prime of his career.