Wizards’ Morris on adding Howard: ‘It’s a great pickup’

Dwight Howard signed a two-year deal with Washington this summer.

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris says the addition of Dwight Howard is a great pickup for the team and believes the former All-NBA center will fit in the Wizards’ locker room.

After securing his buyout with the Brooklyn Nets, Howard signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Wizards. Washington traded Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers and was in need of a starting center.

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. Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall recruited Howard to Washington.

“I think it’s a great pickup,” Morris told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington at his annual backpack giveaway in Southeast Washington. “Dwight has been a great player his entire career. He averaged [16.6] and [12.5] last year. Every time we played against him he has been a matchup problem for us. I’m excited to have him and welcome him to D.C.”

At the end of the 2017-18 season, Wall and head coach Scott Brooks 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.

The Wizards’ starting lineup will most likely feature Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Morris and Howard. With LeBron James out of the Eastern Conference, the East is wide-open and the Wizards could make some noise.

In 73 games this past season for the Wizards, Morris averaged 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists, shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three. He will become an unrestricted free agent next summer and just signed with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group.

“I’m finally 100 percent, so I feel good,” Morris said. “My play is gonna speak for itself. The most important thing we’ve gotta do is win as a team. That’s the most important thing.”

Morris is slated to make $8.6 million in 2018-19.