The Brooklyn Nets entered this season with a sense of optimism after an offseason filled with turmoil. But to this point, they have a record of 2-5 on the year and currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Nets have a lot of issues that need to get addressed if they hope to right the ship and turn this season around. But the issue that is the most glaring is their team rebounding. They do not have a single player who ranks in the top 25 in the NBA in rebounds per game, and as a team, they rank 23rd in the entire NBA.
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Dwight Howard Reveals Why Nets Refused to Sign Him
The losses of players such as Bruce Brown and Andre Drummond during the NBA’s free agency period have certainly contributed to the Nets’ current struggles on the boards. But they had a chance to address their rebounding deficiency during the offseason as eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard had an interest in joining the roster this summer.
Howard may no longer be the caliber of player good enough to land the role of starting center in today’s league. But as a former Defensive Player of the Year winner and a player who had a great impact on the Los Angeles Lakers winning the title in 2020, his veteran presence could have contributed to this Nets roster. But Howard says the Nets were looking for a big man with a perimeter game to fill their backup center role.
“I asked to come to Brooklyn, I talked to them. They said they need a big that can shoot,” Howard said during an appearance on “Club Shay Shay” with Shannon Sharpe on October 31.
Howard Says Him on Nets Would Be ‘Great Pickup’
Howard is far from the high-flying, shot-blocking All-Star center that he was in his prime. But quite frankly, the Nets do not need him to be that. Nic Claxton has secured their starting center position, so they would only need Howard to be a star in his role as a backup big man.
Though he is not putting up the numbers he used to, he still has athleticism on his side which would be an upgrade from the current backup bigs the Nets have on their roster. Howard says Brooklyn signing him would have been a ‘great pickup’.
“I felt like that would’ve been a great pickup, a big that can protect the rim, play good pick and roll defense, and rebound. The pick and roll with KD, Kyrie, and Ben Simmons, I felt like that would’ve been lethal with me in it because I know for sure that KD and Kyrie are gonna get the most wide-open shots they could possibly ever get coming off a pick from me,” Howard added.
“And I felt like my presence on defense is something that would’ve been necessary. Just the fact that I’ve been in the league for 18 years going on 19, I understand basketball on a different level, so I feel like I could’ve helped that team out a lot.”
The Nets still have time to sign Howard as a free agent if they want to. It will be interesting to see if they pull the trigger on a deal.