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Training camp is just around the corner and Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard is oozing with confidence.
Howard signed a two-year, $11 million free agent deal with the Wizards in July. Washington traded Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers and was in need of a big man. At the end of the 2017-18 season, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks and star point guard John Wall highlighted specific types of players they wanted to see added to the Wizards roster this summer. Most notably, the two men pointed to an athletic big.
Howard fits that bill and the former All-NBA center says the Wizards are going to be very explosive on the offensive end.
“Offensively, we’re gonna be a monster,” Howard told Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington. “We have John, it starts with him. He’s gonna be able to provide instant offense for everybody with the way he passes the ball. We got Bradley [Beal] who is somebody who can score on the perimeter anytime and he can also get to the basket and finish.
“For me, it’s gonna open up everybody else’s game. A pick-and-roll with me and Bradley. You gotta really pick your poison. And if Bradley’s on fire, you gonna allow him to pass me the ball to where I get a wide-open dunk. That’s hard. And then you got me and John Wall in the pick-and-roll. Same thing. But the focus for us has to be defense. I think we all understand the importance of defense.”
Howard was fairly productive with the Charlotte Hornets this past season. He averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 55.5 percent from the field in 81 games. He’s not the same player he once was, but Howard is a clear upgrade from Gortat.
The Wizards’ starting lineup will most likely feature Wall, Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris and Howard. With LeBron James out of the Eastern Conference, the Wizards could make some noise in the East.