Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard
34-Year-Old CenterC
Los Angeles Lakers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Howard's 16th NBA season is going to be make-or-break, as the former All-Star has a lot to prove this year in terms of both health and production. After staying surprisingly healthy over the course of the three previous seasons, including playing in 81 games in 2017-18 with Charlotte, Howard's 2018-19 campaign was a complete disaster. Multiple lingering injuries caused Howard to appear in just nine games for the Wizards last season, and he failed to average double-digit rebounds (9.2 per game) in those nine appearances for the first time in his entire NBA career. Howard was then traded to Memphis this offseason and ultimately waived so he could sign with the Lakers shortly after DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL. It's worth noting that Howard is on a non-guaranteed contract, which doesn't make him a lock to make the final roster, especially if he isn't healthy. But assuming the big man is in shape and the team believes he can contribute, Howard should play a decent-sized role in Los Angeles. Given that Anthony Davis prefers to not play the center position, the Lakers will likely have to play a center next to him most of the time, which would result in Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee splitting time at the position. Howard's numbers over the years have come with him playing 30-plus minutes per game, and with the 33-year-old likely in store for closer to 20 minutes per game and playing next to some high-usage players like LeBron James and Davis, his production will likely be limited and sporadic this season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Lakers in August of 2019.
Effective off bench
CLos Angeles Lakers
December 5, 2019
Howard was a strong contributor off the bench in Wednesday's blowout win over Utah, finishing with seven points (3-3 FG, 1-1 3PT), nine rebounds and three blocks in just 19 minutes.
Howard continues to look engaged and re-energized, and he even knocked down a corner three in the fourth quarter -- his first made three since the 2017-18 season and just the seventh make of his career. Through 22 games, Howard holds averages of 7.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 19.8 minutes per game.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Playing for his third team in as many seasons, Howard joined Charlotte in 2017-18 after stints with the Hawks and Rockets. As he's done for his entire 14-year career, Howard averaged a double-double, upping his scoring to 16.6 points per game, while posting 12.5 rebounds, which was on par with his career number of 12.7 boards. The 6-foot-11 big man also started 81 games, proving himself to be reliable health wise with his third straight season playing more than 70 contests. Howard finished seventh in the NBA in blocks with 1.6 per game, but saw his field goal percentage dip somewhat drastically, going from 63.3 percent in 2016-17 to just 55.5 percent last year. However, Charlotte wasn't willing to retain him and Howard is now headed to yet another new organization. After joining Washington this offseason, Howard once again appears primed to start at center, as the Wizards dealt their previous starter, Marcin Gortat, to the Clippers. That makes Ian Mahinmi, who averaged just 14.9 minutes last season, Howard's only real competition for minutes. As a result, it wouldn't be surprising to see Howard eclipse the 30-minute threshold once again, which should give him every opportunity to keep his double-double streak alive. While Howard may not score as much playing alongside offensive threats like John Wall and Bradley Beal, he's still going to rack up boards and blocks for as long as he gets consistent run, so Fantasy owners can still target him with confidence when looking for those categories. Of course, Howard is a career 56.6 percent free-throw shooter and can't knock down a three-pointer, which hurts his value considerably in some formats.
Howard has had trouble finding a home since leaving Orlando six years ago, but his move to the Hornets appears to be one of his best fits yet. This is a Charlotte team who's struggled to find a center in the mold of Howard, who's comfortable on both sides of the floor. While the numbers have been decreasing in recent seasons for Howard, his 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game averages from last season indicate there's still some gas left in the tank. He did that damage in his most efficient season, shooting a career-high 63.3 percent from the field. While his 29.0 minutes per game last season were a career-low, Howard likely won't see a dramatic increase in playing time, considering his spacing limitations and the fact that the Hornets still have Cody Zeller, who started 58 games a season ago. The key for Howard is health, as he's averaging just 64.5 games played across his last six seasons. With Zeller potentially stealing some minutes at center, Howard's not guaranteed to replicate last seasons numbers and he's also a brutal free-throw shooter. Those factors make Howard's Fantasy value tough to predict, though he's still going to be a double-double threat and a better-than-average rim protector who rebounds at one of the best rates in the NBA.
Though it's hard to imagine now, there was a time when Howard seemed track to become one of the greatest centers of all time, but his career has lost some momentum since he forced his way out of Orlando after the 2011-12 season. Back problems and acrimony with teammates led to a disappointing campaign with the Lakers the following season, and Howard largely failed to deliver star-level production during a three-year stay with the Rockets, finishing his final campaign in Houston with averages of 13.7 points -- his worst mark since his rookie year -- 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Given his poor fit in the Rockets' up-tempo offensive system, it didn't come as much of a surprise when Howard opted out of his contract for 2016-17 and subsequently joined his hometown Hawks on a three-year, $70.5 million contract in July. That significant financial investment should result in Howard assuming greater primacy in the Hawks' offense than he did in Houston, but his age (he'll turn 31 in December) and difficulty staying healthy (he's missed at least 11 games in four of the last five seasons) suggest that a return to his career averages of 17.8 points, 12.7 boards and 2.1 blocks is probably too ambitious. Moreover, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer's historical preference to space the floor could make Howard only a marginally better offensive fit in Atlanta, and the center's poor free-throw shooting further dings his value in eight- or nine-category leagues. Though he may have a higher Q Score than former Hawks center Al Horford, who departed for the Celtics this offseason on a bigger contract, Howard likely won't be an upgrade at the position, especially while he appears to be in the decline phase of his career.
While Howard missed 41 games last season due to knee, ankle, and shoulder injuries, he still managed to average 15.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 30 minutes per game. He also extended his streak of averaging a double-double to 11 consecutive seasons. Even though his cumulative totals were hurt due to missing so much time, efficiency-wise, his stats were generally on par with the rest of his career. Howard shot 59 percent from the field, a hair above his career average, and converted 53 percent of his free throws, down from 55 percent in 2013-14. The biggest concern heading into the season is Howard's health. A model of durability through his first seven NBA seasons, Howard has dealt with nagging injury after nagging injury since the start of the 2012 season. When healthy, he's still one of the best big men in the game, but he'll need to play more than half of the season to live up to his fantasy potential. Expected at full strength for the start of the year, Howard will serve as Houston's unquestioned starting center, and he'll aim to average north of 30 minutes per game after dipping below that benchmark for the first time in his career last season.
While he averaged the lowest minutes per game (34) since his rookie season, Howard was still able to put up more than respectable numbers and finished last season averaging 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. In his 10 year career, Howard has been able to average a double-double in points and rebounds every single season, so it should be a safe bet he can repeat that this upcoming year. His rebound average of 12.2 per game placed him as the fourth best in the league on the boards last season, only behind the likes of DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, and Kevin Love. He also remained one of the premiere defenders with his 1.8 blocks per game, which was good enough for seventh in the league. With the trade of Omer Asik to the Pelicans, Dwight will probably be even more heavily relied upon, and his minutes will most likely increase. The added minutes and further familiarity of playing with fellow superstar James Harden, should lead to Howard having an outstanding chance to improve his numbers from the 2013-14 season and provide the Rockets with one of the best centers in the league.
In 2012-13, we learned that Superman had more than one form of kryptonite that diminished his superpowers. In Howard's case, his basketball powers were clearly affected by offseason back surgery and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's system, as he finished with still stellar but not superhero-level averages of 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. Despite the drop in his double-double stats, Howard remained a beast on the defensive end of the court, averaging 2.4 blocks and 1.1 steals. Of course, his free-throw shooting remained abysmal, as he hit just 49 percent of his freebies while attempting 9.5 free throws per game – that level of ineptness is a huge sap to Howard's overall value in rotisserie formats. Still, there's plenty to praise with Howard's game. He remains a physical marvel and should look more like his old self now that he's over a year removed from back surgery. And his move from the Lakers to the Rockets should put him back in a role more consistent to the one he played in Orlando – like the Howard-led Magic teams, Houston is loaded with three-point shooters to space the floor for the big man. At 27, Howard still has plenty of good years left in the tank, and while he may never live up to the extremely lofty expectations put on him earlier in his career, it's tough to find many more centers that are more productive in any category, outside of free-throw shooting.
Off the court, Howard had a trying 2011-12 campaign, as he was involved in on-again, off-again trade demands and rumors all season, but on the court he was his usual dominant self. The big (6-10, 240) center continued to carry his mantle as the most dominant pivot in the league, averaging 20.6 points and a league-leading 14.5 rebounds. He was once again stellar on the defensive end of the court, too, blocking 2.1 shots per game while also amassing a career-high 1.5 steals per contest. His shooting percentage was also Grade-A, as Howard finished with a league-leading clip of 57.3 percent from the floor. The only area where he continued to hurt fantasy owners was in free-throw percentage – Howard shot just 49.1 from the charity stripe, which marked a career low. After dealing with his off-the-court drama for the past year, Howard finally found a new home this summer when he was traded to the Lakers. Los Angeles will ask Howard to be the anchor of the team’s defense, so the rebounds, blocks and steals should hold steady, but now that he’s on a team with more offensive options, we could see a slight dip in his scoring production. Even if Howard’s scoring drops off slightly, his dominance in other areas will be enough to keep his fantasy value from dipping.
The self-proclaimed “Superman” took his game to new heights last season, finishing with a career-high 22.9 points per game while still dominating the glass (14.1 rpg) and controlling the paint (2.4 bpg). The jump in scoring can be directly attributed to his offseason work with all-time NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon, who helped Howard develop a face-up jumper and an array of post-up moves. While Howard won’t be mistaken for the Dream anytime soon, his improved offensive repertoire was evident last season. He also showed some improvement on the defensive side of the ball, chipping in 1.4 steals per game, which was easily a new personal best. But free throw shooting (59.6) and turnovers (3.6) are Howard’s kryptonite. Making matters worse, Howard led the league in free-throw attempts with 11.7 trips to the line per game, which makes his awful shooting from the charity stripe all the more damaging for fantasy owners. Despite his obvious flaws from a fantasy perspective, Howard’s improvements in scoring and steals last season finally pushed him to the elite status he’s held in real life for the past handful of years, and as he’s just 25, we probably haven’t seen his ceiling yet.
Howard once again led the NBA in rebounding (13.2 rpg) and shot blocking (2.8 bpg) last season, though with the addition of Vince Carter, his field goal attempts per game dropped to just 10.2 – the lowest since his rookie season. For someone who recorded a remarkable 61.2 FG percent, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get Howard more involved in the offense. Of course, there's also the free throw issue, as Howard has finished below 60.0 percent from the charity stripe in each of the past five seasons. He took a whopping 10.0 foul shots per game last season, so he can single-handedly destroy the category. When you also factor in his high turnover rate (3.3 tpg last year), it's easy to see why his fantasy value is nowhere near his real life value. Howard has missed just three games over his six-year career, so he's as durable as they come. At 6-11, 265, he's one of the most gifted athletes on the planet, but his low-post game remains raw and has plenty of room for improvement (and at age 24, there's still time). All those boards and blocks are enticing, but for someone who hasn't shown the skills to be a truly elite scorer (18.3 ppg last year), the poor free throw shooting and high volume of turnovers make Howard a good, not great fantasy option.
Howard continues to drop jaws with his otherworldly size (6-11, 265) and freakish athleticism. His development has made him into a perennial All-Star and one of the most dominant big men in the Association. While Howard took his star to another level by leading the Magic to the NBA Finals last season, his fantasy game still hasn’t reached its pinnacle. On the defensive end, Howard dominated games with his league-leading 13.8 rpg and 2.9 bpg while chipping in one steal per, too. Howard helps out on the other end of the court with his 20.6 ppg and 57.2-percent shooting from the floor, but it’s his struggles from the charity stripe that hinder his fantasy outlook. Much like Shaquille O’Neal in his prime, Howard can be a dominant fantasy force, but his inefficiencies from the line can single-handedly destroy that category. For the fourth consecutive season, Howard shot under 60-percent from the free-throw line, finishing at just 59.4 percent last year. His struggles from the line are magnified by his league-leading 10.8 free-throw attempts per game. Regardless, at 23, Howard holds one of the highest ceilings of any player in the league and, as the primary low-post option for the Magic, will continue to post All-NBA production.
Howard is the most physically gifted big man in the NBA, combining an overpowering 6-11, 265-pound frame with great quickness and outstanding leaping ability. He showed this by becoming the only center in NBA history to win the slam dunk contest, and the same gifts that allow him to Superman dunk also make him one of the most difficult match-ups in the league. Howard made noticeable improvements in both the offensive (20.7 ppg, 59.9% FG) and defensive (2.1 bpg, .9 spg) categories. Most importantly, he led the league with 14.2 rpg. Howard also continued his iron man streak, having never missed a game in his four-year career. Superman’s Kryptonite continues to be the foul line, where his 59 percent shooting on a whopping 10.9 free-throw attempts per game was enough to lose that category by himself. Nevertheless, Howard is still only 22 years old with plenty of upside, and if he can get his free-throw percentage even back to the 67 percent he shot as a rookie, the sky’s the limit.
Howard is probably the most physically gifted big man in the NBA, combining an overpowering 6-11, 265-pound frame with great quickness and outstanding leaping ability. (Does anyone remember Howard almost touching the top of the backboard in the dunk contest last year?). He did not take quite the quantum leap in production that many expected from him last season, but he still made noticeable improvements in the offensive (career highs 17.6 ppg, 60.3% FG, 1.9 apg) and defensive (career highs 1.9 bpg, .9 spg) categories while making a push for the league lead in rebounding (12.3 rpg). He also continued his “iron man” streak, having never missed a game in his three-year career. Most importantly for fantasy owners, Howard played most of his games at center and thus solidified his eligibility in the harder-to-fill big-man position. His only real weaknesses last season were an alarming decline in free-throw shooting (career-low 58.6%) and career-worst 3.9 turnovers per night. Nevertheless, Howard is still only 21 years old, and with Rashard Lewis around to stretch opposing defenses and open up space, Howard has the potential to end this season as the top fantasy producer among centers in the NBA.
With all due respect to Amare Stoudemire, Howard is the new Man-Child of the NBA. At 6-11 and an incredibly ripped 240 pounds with outstanding quickness and leaping ability, Howard is already a beast in the paint that can simply overpower and jump over his competition. He was second in the NBA in rebounding at 12.5 rpg last season, and scored 15.8 ppg as well without having many discernible post moves. As Howard matures and starts pairing more technique with this ridiculous athleticism those numbers have quite a bit of room to increase. Howard is disruptive on defense as well, averaging 1.4 bpg and .8 spg as a sophomore but his rookie numbers (1.7 bpg, .9 spg) show that he also easily has the potential to be a two-block/one-steal per game guy. With his point guard Jameer Nelson also coming into his own now, as well as the addition of shooter J.J. Redick, the possible return of Grant Hill from injury, and improvements in Darko Milicic’s game, Howard should also have more room to operate this season as well.
Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the next NBA superstar. Howard's season numbers – 12 points and 10 rebounds per game – look great, but the 19-year-old rookie, who put up a double-double almost every time out, was even better down the stretch. Over the last two months of the year, Howard averaged 15.1 points and 11.1 rebounds, and did it on 55% shooting from the field. Moreover, Howard will give you a steal and almost two blocks per game. Howard could stand to get better from the line, shooting just 67% on the year, and he could also learn how to kick the ball out from the post, as he averaged just one assist per game last season, but those skills could come as he matures. Keeper league owners should remember that if Fran Vazquez comes over next year, Howard would probably move to center. At that spot, he would easily crack the top five behind Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming, Ben Wallace, and Zydrunas Illgauskas. This is said assuming that Nowitzki and Duncan do not get center eligibility in your league.
On the plus side, he doesn't have anyone ahead of him to keep him pinned to the bench. On the minus: he's 18. He may grow into a Kevin Garnett-type player, but for this season he's more likely to be a Stromile Swift.
At his size, he can do just a little bit of everything. He dominates in the paint but also has the ability to step out and hit shots on the perimeter. He's quick off the dribble, isn't afraid to hit the glass, and is a great shot blocker. Scouts haven't found many downsides to Howard, except for the occasional lack of effort. He is a consensus top 2 pick along with former UCONN star Emeka Okafor.
More Fantasy News
Solid off bench
CLos Angeles Lakers
November 23, 2019
Howard posted 10 points (3-4 FG, 4-6 FT), seven rebounds and one block in Friday's 130-127 win against the Thunder.
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Fares well from charity stripe
CLos Angeles Lakers
November 14, 2019
Howard tallied 15 points (5-7 FG, 5-6 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and one block in 20 minutes off the bench Wednesday in the Lakers' 120-94 win over the Warriors.
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Perfect from field again
CLos Angeles Lakers
November 11, 2019
Howard finished Sunday's contest with nine points (3-3 FG, 3-5 FT) and six rebounds in 17 minutes during the Lakers' 113-104 loss to the Raptors.
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Scores six points in 24 minutes
CLos Angeles Lakers
November 5, 2019
Howard finished with six points (3-4 FG, 0-1 FT), six boards, and one block in 24 minutes of a 118-112 win Tuesday against the Bulls.
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Solid double-double in win
CLos Angeles Lakers
November 4, 2019
Howard had 14 points (7-7 FG, 0-1 FT), 13 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 21 minutes off the bench during the Lakers' 103-96 win at the Spurs on Sunday night.
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