NBA Free Agency kicked off July 1st and by the time we all got to work on Monday, the big dominoes already fell. The King, Lebron James, signed a four year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Paul George signed a 4 year deal to stay in Oklahoma City with the Thunder. But before Free Agency kicked off, Washington Wizard fans were already welcoming a new player. Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on June 26th that Austin Rivers would be moved to Washington for Marcin Gortat.
The swap included two players whom were entering the final years of their respective contacts at relatively the same price. The deal allows the Clippers to stop all the conversations about how head coach, Doc Rivers, was being partial to his son and it allows the Wizards to move a player who openly disagreed with super max guard, John Wall.
With that big move as well as the addition of Troy Brown Jr. with the 15th overall pick in the draft, the signing of Jeff Green, as well as the rumored “done deal” with Dwight Howard, and are the Wizards actually in a better place at the start of the Vegas Summer League than what they would have been?
Despite the drafting of Troy Brown Jr., the Wizards will still be giving major minutes to Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre and Jeff Green. Troy is a good lengthy prospect that will need to really work on his shot. He is not close to really making an on-court impact this upcoming season.
Jeff Green played in his first NBA Finals this past year with the Cleveland Cavaliers. A player with championship experience should help, right? Not in my book. Jeff Green will slide right in behind Markeef Morris and will play a similar role as Mike Scott last year. Maybe Green gets a few more MPG than Scott, but Green is not significantly better. What makes Green an interesting add for the Wizards is that he signed a vet minimum contract. Maybe I am wrong and Green could have an impact with John Wall dishing it to him in the corner but John Wall cannot make players look as good as when they play with Lebron.
Dwight Howard, Dwight Howard, Dwight Howard…
As a fan of the team, it is hard for me to really wrap my head around a center who has fallen from grace and cannot do much of anything anymore without creating an uproar. Dwight’s exits from Orlando, LA, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte and Brooklyn have all come with him being unhappy. What does Dwight Howard bring to the table over Marcin Gortat?
NBA eyes can see athleticism but what else – not much. Howard will be a rim running threat and will still be a big body guarding the paint but offensively, he will be in no mans land. Howard likes his touches in the post – where he gets to go to work down low and take advantage of his defender. Lets be clear though, that is what Dwight could do 8-10 years ago, the advantage is not as much today.
The last thing Washington needs is someone to clog up the lane for John Wall and Bradley Beal, both of whom can get to the rim with ease. What helped having Gortat on the floor was his ability to hit a 15 foot jumper. Dwight Howard cannot hit a 15 foot jumper (or maybe he miraculously developed it with Charlotte last year when I wasn’t watching). As a lane clogger, Howard will not be as effective in Washington as some may hope. Our best bet in the DMV is that Dwight becomes the east coast version of DeAndre Jordan – a big range-y center with an elite point guard who can throw on-target lobs, and play crazy good defense.
For my sake, I hope Dwight proves something on the one year tax payers mid-level exception because we all know the Wizards are strapped for cash soon when a certain player’s super max contract kicks in.