Washington Wizards Introduce New Center Dwight Howard

The Washington Wizards introduced their new center, Dwight Howard, Monday.

The Charlotte Hornets traded the eight-time All Star to the Brooklyn Nets last month before the draft. After the trade became official July 6, the Nets immediately waived him.

The Wizards announced the signing July 12.

"I plan to be here until I retire," Howard said Monday, suggesting he could play eight more years.

Howard thanked guard John Wall for reaching out and helping bring him to the Wizards. He said Wall is a different type of animal than any other point guard with whom he's ever played.

Head coach Scott Brooks joked, "Dwight makes me a better defensive coach already."

In his lone season with the Hornets — and 14th in the NBA — Howard, 32, averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 81 games.

Washington is Howard's sixth team since he left the Orlando Magic, who drafted him in 2004. He pushed for a trade from Orlando to the Nets during the 2011-12 season in hopes of joining Deron Williams, then changed his mind and recommitted the Magic, who instead dealt him to the Lakers that summer.

After later spending three seasons with the Houston Rockets, Howard was acquired by his hometown Atlanta Hawks in 2016 as a free agent and signed a three-year contract. But he wore out his welcome after one season and was dealt to Charlotte. The Hornets, in the midst of a major organizational shake-up, having already replaced their general manager and coach, could be on the verge of shaking up their roster, too.

Howard struggled to mesh with guard Nicolas Batum, and the Hornets failed to make the playoffs despite what former coach Steve Clifford considered the team's most talented roster in half a decade.

Howard has averaged 17.4 points, 12.7 rebounds and two blocks per game since joining the league in 2004.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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