Celtics Urged to Target Long-Time Rival Veteran Center

Dwight Howard

Getty Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

After trading Daniel Theis to the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics are on the lookout for his replacement. The veteran big men currently on the free agent market consist of Hassan Whiteside, Demarcus Cousins, Tristan Thompson, and Montrezl Harrell, among others. Trevor Hass of Celticsblog proposed that their target center should be Dwight Howard, who’s coming off his third stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hass’ rationale for the Celtics adding Howard would be that because the Celtics only have two reliable centers – Al Horford and Robert Williams III – whose minutes should be conserved as much as possible for when the playoffs start, and Boston’s other options at the center position aren’t dependable.

(Howard) would be a perfect fit for the Celtics as a low-risk, medium-reward acquisition. As the roster currently stands, there’s a lot of pressure on Al Horford and Robert Williams to log heavy minutes. They’re both capable of doing so as needed, but it’s better to rest them as much as possible in the regular season so they’re fresh for the playoffs.

Outside of Horford and Williams, the Celtics can turn to Luke Kornet at the 5, see what Mfiondu Kabengele has to offer or go small with Grant Williams, Danilo Gallinari or even potentially Jayson Tatum at center. With all due respect to Luke Kornet, none of those situations scream championship.

Once upon a time, Howard duked it out with the Celtics in playoff battles back when he was on the Orlando Magic in 2009 and 2010. Howard is not that same player in 2022 that he was back then, but he was a serviceable backup center for the Lakers when they won the title in 2020.

Since NBA Free Agency started in 2022, there have been no reports indicating that the Celtics are interested in bringing him in, but they have in previous years.

Celtics Have Wanted Howard in the Past

There have been multiple points in which the Celtics have reportedly had some interest in bringing Howard to the team. After his tenure with the Houston Rockets ended in 2016, the Celtics were one of the teams that had scheduled a meeting with Howard to recruit him as a free agent. Howard ultimately agreed to sign with the Atlanta Hawks instead.

Two years later, after the Brooklyn Nets acquired Howard from the Charlotte Hornets with the intention of buying him out, Chris Mannix brought up Danny Ainge’s previous interest in Dwight.

So, while Ainge had previously been interested in Howard in the past, there’s no telling if Stevens ever had or if he currently has an interest in bringing in Howard. He may not want to, knowing Dwight’s history with some of the players currently on the Celtics.

Howard’s Fighting History With Celtics

Howard has gotten into a couple of scuffles with current Celtics players in the past. On February 27, 2017, Howard shoved Al Horford after Horford gave him a hard foul, which ultimately kicked Howard out of the game.

Dwight Howard And Al Horford Going At ItD12 Vs Horford2017-02-28T03:24:11Z

On November 10, 2017, Howard then got into a little scuffle with Marcus Smart after throwing Smart to the ground.

Marcus Smart doesn't like what Dwight Howard is doing (11/10/2017)Become my patron! patreon.com/Timi093 Marcus Smart doesn't like what Dwight Howard is doing (11/10/2017)2017-11-11T10:47:42Z

Plenty of time has passed since these incidents occurred. Howard also has a reputation for getting into fights with players. One of the most notorious scuffles he’s been in was with his own teammate Anthony Davis on the bench early on in the 2021-22 season.

Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis get into an altercation on the bench 😲Follow my new media channel: youtube.com/channel/UCifzXFn_pHz-kkU9vVTSM0w Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis have an altercation on the bench | Lakers vs Suns | 2021-22 NBA Season #nba #nbahighlights #dwight2021-10-23T03:14:04Z

Howard has shown he’s capable of fighting players both on and off his team. The Celtics would have to decide if having someone like that around is worth resting Horford and Williams as much as they could if he was on the roster.

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