The Brooklyn Nets were rumored to be seeking another big man ahead of the preseason. Currently, the team has the young Nic Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe as true centers and plans to play Ben Simmons extended minutes as the team’s lone big man. However, with that the belief is that the team needs more depth at center, and some of the players that have been named are veteran big men like Dwight Howard or Hassan Whiteside. However, at media day, Nets general manager Sean Marks spoke and alluded that the team may wait until into the season to assess whether they should add a veteran to go along with their young centers.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Nic and Day’Ron out there,” Marks said. “And see what they can do. They put in the time on the court with our coaching staff this summer and really put in long hours. If you noticed, their bodies have changed and matured. … At the end of the day, I’m excited to give Nic and Day’Ron a shot out there and see how they perform.”
Dwight Howard on Free Agency
With the current plans in Brooklyn looking to be giving their developing big men chances to prove they are ready, that leaves them out of any pursuit for Howard or Whiteside. Dwight Howard recently spoke about his current free agency on the recent episode of the ‘All The Smoke Podcast‘ with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson after being asked what his plans were heading into next season.
“Well, I want to play. Like I enjoy the game. I want to play, but at the same time, there are like no teams who will really allow me to play. That’s how I’ve been feeling from the last situation with the Lakers. You know, I feel like I did enough to help them win a championship to really deserve a spot on the team and a chance to start and get big minutes. It didn’t happen, so after that, I was like, ‘Man, I don’t want to have to bust my ass for another whole summer, training three-a-days, going crazy dieting to do all of this sh*t and then get back to a team and sit on the bench,'” Howard said. “I can really help somebody win and still play. Like, I ain’t lost a beat. It’s just that I sit on the bench, so people don’t see that. Team’s don’t see that, you know and it’s been like, ‘damn, do I want to just call it quits and do some other stuff? Or go back at it and show people I still got it…’ But Hell, I want to go out on top, for real. Because I’ve still got it. I still can hoop.”
Potential Dwight Howard Role
Howard noted that he wants a role on a team and a chance to play meaningful minutes rather than riding the bench, and that has kept him from signing anywhere so far this season. He believes he still has a lot to contribute, but after spending time on the bench that teams haven’t had a chance to see all that he still has.
Howard could play a role similar to what Andre Drummond did in the second half of last season for the Nets. His role was to play defense and rebound the basketball. Two things Howard can still bring to the team and, frankly, things the Nets may need when it comes to matching up against centers like Joel Embiid. A move for Howard may make sense, and it can likely come pretty cheap.