So Many Choices...Only One Dwight Howard
It seems to be that time of the month again for the NBA headlines. Dwight Howard the man many consider to be the most dominant center of today's NBA is making another important decision. This one however will have the most impact as it won't be a pit stop to mull over long term deal possibilities. This is it for Howard as the team he choses will have him locked up for quite some time, in hopes of winning a title. The teams in the running: Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, & Atlanta Hawks are going all out for D12.
No matter what you think about him as a person whether it may be the result of the way he handled his leaving from Orlando, or his non-committal quotes during his tenure with the Lakers Dwight is the crown jewel of centers in the league. His athleticism, strength, and skill (especially on the defensive end) is virtually un-matched when he's at his best.
And in case you didn't notice Dwight Howard wasn't at his best in the 2013 season as he still dealt with his lingering back issue (had surgery prior to the 2013 season). Despite the iffy back Dwight still put up good numbers averaging: 17.1 ppg, 12.4 rebs, 2.4 blocks per game, and a .578 FG%. He was never a great free throw shooter, a career .577% from the FT line so his problems there didn't surprise many. However his dominance in the paint is still there.
With that said the two teams with the best chance according to Dwight's camp: Houston, & Golden State didn't let the media troubles, and FT line woes in 2013 distract them from who Dwight can really be. A championship caliber center, someone who impacts the game every night, and a proven playoff contender (19.7 ppg, 14.1 rebs, 2.7 blocks per game, .601 FG% in his post season career). All of that, and Dwight Howard is still only 27 years old.
In case you were wondering why Houston & Golden State are the top candidates for D12's services. They can surround him with shooters as both teams possess a lethal 3-point attack with players such as: Steph Curry, James Harden, Klay Thompson, Chandler Parsons, & Harrison Barnes. However these young players, and the others are also slashers who can get to the rim, and utalize the pick & roll. Something Howard is much more useful in than posting up opposing bigs.
Both teams also have talented bigs, and forwards that will complement Howard in the paint, but also give him the space he needs to impact the game offensively & on the defensive end. And lastly, both teams have two very solid head coaches in Rockets head coach Kevin McHale former Hall of Fame power foward, and Warriors head coach Mark Jackson a former player himself who had a great career.
Sources have said Howard doesn't want to drag this out, and that a decision will be made by Friday. Which ever team he chooses will surely receive an upgrade at center. However If what the masses predict come true with the consensus choice being Houston or Golden State the Western Conference will see a change in the power structure, and the NBA will have gained another legit title contender. Dwight Howard has an important decision to make, one that will impact not only his career but the NBA itself.