Wizards Roster 2018: Starting Lineup If Dwight Howard Signs

wizards roster

Getty Dwight Howard will likely replace Marcin Gortat as the Washington Wizards starting center.

The Washington Wizards have been quiet in free agency, but could make some noise by pursuing Dwight Howard. The Wizards will have to wait until at least July 6 to pursue Howard, as this is the first date he can officially receive a buy-out from the Nets. According to the Washington Post, the Wizards plan on pursuing Howard once he officially becomes a free agent. The Athletic’s Jared Weiss reported that Howard has already agreed in principal to a one year deal with the Wizards.

Here’s a look at the updated roster and a projected starting lineup if Howard ends up on the Wizards. The roster will continue to evolve as free agency continues.

Wizards Roster & Projected Starting Lineup for 2018-19

C- Dwight Howard, Ian Mahinmi, Thomas Bryant
PF- Markieff Morris, Jeff Green
SF- Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre Jr., Devin Robinson
SG- Bradley Beal, Austin Rivers, Troy Brown
PG- John Wall, Tomas Satoransky

Wizards Free Agents: Ramon Sessions (UFA), Jason Smith (PO), Ty Lawson (UFA), Jodie Meeks (PO), Mike Scott (UFA), Tim Frazier (UFA), Chris McCullough

Here’s the original story from The Washington Post.

Center Dwight Howard, who was traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Charlotte Hornets prior to the NBA draft, wants a buyout to become an unrestricted free agent. Once the trade becomes official and terms of Howard’s buyout are completed, the Wizards plan to be at the front of the line to offer a contract to the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and eight-time all-star, according to several people in the league familiar with the team’s plans.

Howard remains in a holding pattern. The trade from Charlotte to Brooklyn will not become official until the end of the league’s annual moratorium on transactions at 12:01 a.m. July 6. At that point, the Nets and Howard are expected to enter into negotiations over a possible buyout, and Howard will then have to clear waivers. Once that happens, Washington will be among the favorites to work a deal with the 14-year veteran

The Wizards also added Jeff Green on a one-year contract. Last week, the Wizards moved Marcin Gortat in a trade for Austin Rivers. Howard is projected to slide into Gortat’s starting center role. Gortat’s relationship with John Wall was rumored to be a point of contention.

Washington finds themselves in an Eastern Conference that is without LeBron James for the first time since he started his NBA career. The Wizards were expected to be a finals contender last season, but under-performed down the stretch. Washington is hoping that some of the smaller additions, plus James leaving for the West will help put them back in the hunt.

Howard has been no stranger to controversy throughout his career, but did have his best season in quite some time last year with the Hornets. Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in Charlotte. The challenge for Howard continues to be the league’s evolution into smaller lineups. The NBA is moving towards big men that can shoot, stretch the floor and play defense. Howard is at his best on the block, but Wizards fans will be curious to see how he fits in with John Wall along with Bradley Beal.