Connor: Listen, I know Howard gets a lot of crap from the national media. He gets trashed for being soft, taking games off and not having a great work ethic, all of which could be very true. And I know his skills have declined since his days in Orlando. Now in no way am I advocating for the Celtics–yes I am taking the homer angle, deal with it and accept it–to throw the house at the Rockets in order to bring Howard to Boston, but if the price is right, it’s worth a shot.
Why not take a shot at a once-elite post player how can still defend the paint and rebound the ball with the best of them? He can’t do t on a nightly basis anymore like he used to, but Howard can still throw up 36 points and 26 rebound performance, like he did against the Clippers on Jan. 18, on any given night. It all depends on the price tag.
If we can toss the Rockets, lets say, our own 2016 first round pick, the Mavs 2016 first rounder, and maybe a combo of David Lee’s expiring contract and James Young, I would take a flier on that for sure. Give Howard a chance to make an impact in the second half of the season and you are only giving up Lee, who is on his way out of Boston anyways, and an unproven Young. I know people will complain that Dwight will cause problems in the locker room, but I think that the media has overblown how much he brings down a team.
By no means do I think making this move will make the C’s a contender, but it does address some of their most glaring needs; rebounding and rim protection. If the price is low enough, take a shot and see how it works for a few months. If the price is too steep, then back out and find a better option. Danny Ainge has been adamant that he will not waste our treasure trove of assets on a trade that isn’t worth it just to make a splash, and he will have to stick to his word if he is actually talking with Houston.
Eric: Here is my thing with Dwight Howard, I still think he can turn it on some nights and display his premier center skills, but I also think he is poison for a locker room. The interesting thing about Howard to Boston would be that Dwight is going to be the star in Boston, he might not be the leading scorer on the team but he would be the closest thing that Boston has to a star. Dwight has not really worked out well in Houston because he is not the star, and obviously things went horribly wrong in Los Angeles, but he thrived in Orlando when he was the only star.
Timmy: I am definitely interested in the idea of Dwight Howard coming to Boston FOR THE RIGHT PRICE. If the Houston Rockets expect the Celtics–or any team–to overpay for a past-his-prime diva, they are sorely mistaken. The fact that Houston initiated the conversation on Howard instantly suggests that they are only looking to sell him for a return that they deem worthy.
If Howard could be had for a deal like the one that Connor suggested above, I think it would absolutely be worth the Celtics while. Howard has proven again and again that when he is willing to put in the effort, he can be a dominant player in the post. Howard is significantly more efficient at scoring than other Celtics big-men. On 10 shots per game, as opposed to Sullinger’s 15, Howard outscores Sully by 1.5 points per 36 minutes. He also has a better FG% than both Amir Johnson and Sullinger.
Lastly, I’m actually not worried at all about him being a cancer in the locker room. I also think he has gotten a bad reputation due to being placed in SEMI dysfunctional locker rooms and front offices. In Orlando, Howard went through a DeAndre Jordan-like saga, and in Houston he has to play second fiddle to James Harden. I get the impression (based on literally no evidence) that Dwight is a FAIRLY well-liked guy among his teammates.
Howard could be a piece that helps the Celtics make some noise in the playoffs. That could help to make Boston an appealing destination for upcoming free agents and trade targets.