Prior to the season, Dwight Howard told anyone who would listen that the Charlotte Hornets would be a great fit. He said the Hornets offered him a chance to get his career back to an elite level.
Well, no one really listened, but so far Howard is making his case.
Howard his been a nice fit in an offense centered on point guard Kemba Walker and up-and-coming shooting guard Jeremy Lamb.
Entering Sunday’s game at Minnesota, Howard’s averaging 14.3 points, 14.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. He does seem to have been rescued by Hornets coach Steve Clifford — and mostly, by himself.
Here is more from Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:
So far, Howard has been spectacular. […] He played more than 32,000 NBA minutes prior to this season, but there is nothing about how he’s performing to suggest he’s slowing down.
In fact, if he can maintain those numbers and the Hornets have a winning record the first half of the season, Howard could be selected for the All-Star Game (in Los Angeles in February) for the first time since 2014, when Howard was a Houston Rocket.
No trade can be evaluated strictly by what a team receives; what that team gives up is just as relevant. For instance, the Hornets acquired one of the better players in franchise history, small forward Glen Rice, in 1995. But to do so, they gave up arguably the best player in franchise history in center Mourning.
A big part of why Howard could be the best trade in franchise history is the Hornets gave up very little to the Atlanta Hawks. Marco Belinelli was a solid reserve last season. The other player sent to Atlanta was big man Miles Plumlee, who did next to nothing for the Hornets last season. Worse yet, Plumlee’s contract guarantees him $12.4 million this season, and the same sum each of the next two.