Wizards’ Wall says adding Howard ‘benefits us a lot’

Washington Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall says the addition of big man Dwight Howard will benefit the team a lot and is looking forward to playing with the former All-NBA center.

At his final media availability of the 2017-18 season, Wall highlighted specific types of players he wanted to see added to the Wizards roster this summer. Most notably, he pointed to an athletic big.

The Wizards traded Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers and signed Howard to a two-year, $11 million deal after he was bought out by the Brooklyn Nets.

“Even though he’s older, he’s still an athletic big and still has respect in this league,” Wall told Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington. “I mean, averaging [16.6 ppg and 12.5 rpg], he’s a guy who can score in the low-post and block shots, a guy that gets a lot of rebounds and a guy that can catch lobs and do things that when teams switch against us or we’re attacking the paint, if they help for a second then we’re throwing lobs. I think that benefits us a lot.”

Howard was fairly productive with the Charlotte Hornets in 2017-18. He averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 55.5 percent from the field in 81 games.

Since requesting a trade from the Orlando Magic, Howard has played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and Hornets. He’s been unable to stay anywhere and is reportedly a huge locker room issue.

Wall says Howard used to tell him how fond he was of his game. Despite Howard’s past issues, Wall is excited to finally play with the man they used to call Superman.

“I think it’s great,” Wall said. “I think it’s an opportunity to see how it pans out, to have an athletic big and somebody who’s going to re-correct their career. I think it should be fun and exciting for us. Hopefully he comes in with a serious focus and mind-set (that) he wants to get better and help our team. We’re about to sit back and see what happens.”