Dwight Howard managed to stay mostly healthy in 2015-16, but he saw his numbers dip for the third straight season as he hits his 30s. Howard didn't necessarily play much worse last season, as he still shot 62.0 percent from the field, still got to the free-throw line plenty and still racked up big rebounding totals. However, his role in Houston's offense continued to decline, as his scoring average fell to 13.7 points per game, his lowest since he was a rookie. Howard's time in Houston came to an unsurprising end in free agency, but his decision to sign with the Hawks did come as something of a shock. The Hawks could look to feature Howard more in the offense than the Rockets did, especially given the departures of Jeff Teague and Al Horford this offseason, but it is fair to wonder if Howard is still capable of shouldering a heavy load on offense like in days past. Still, it isn't unreasonable to expect some improvement, and Howard is worth targeting in the middle rounds as a bounce-back candidate and starting-caliber Fantasy center.
Howard was released from the hospital Monday morning after he was hospitalized following a case of dehydration, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Howard came down ill while flying from China to Atlanta on Sunday and was sent to the hospital to receive fluids. Now that he's been released from the hospital, it seems likely that Howard won't face any limitations as he resumes working out prior to the start of the season. After signing a three-year, $70.5 million contract this offseason with his hometown Hawks, Howard is expected to see a bump in usage in 2016-17 after he was often overshadowed by James Harden last season with the Rockets.
Howard was hospitalized due to possible dehydration on Sunday, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Howard was taken to the hospital after feeling sick aboard a flight to Atlanta. He is expected to be treated and released on Monday. This isn't likely to affect Howard's upcoming preseason camp or season.
Howard agreed to a three-year, $70.5 million deal with the Hawks on Friday, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports. Howard represents one of the biggest front court pieces of the free agency puzzle, so his signing with the Hawks is an interesting one given that they were still in the conversation for Al Horford. Howard's signing with the Hawks makes it unlikely for Horford to return to Atlanta, suggesting that Howard and Paul Millsap will combine for their starting front court combo in 2016. Howard showed flashes of the dominant player that made eight consecutive All-Star games while with Houston over the last three seasons, but those flashes got fewer and farther between over time. He'll have a strong supporting cast around him in Atlanta that also includes an intelligent coach in Mike Budenholzer that could be able to tap back into Howard's talent.
Howard opted to decline his $23.3 million player option for the 2016-17 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports. Howard largely struggled this past season, seeing his lowest offensive numbers since his rookie season with 13.7 points per game. Howard and James Harden appeared to clash both on and off the hardwood, so it seems unlikely he'll return to Houston despite both parties leaving the option open. With that being said, Howard's defensive capabilities remain one of the better options in the league, meaning the 30-year-old center should receive a ton of attention on the open market.
Howard compiled eight points (3-13 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-4 FT), 21 rebounds (11 offensive), one assist, one steal, and one block across 45 minutes in the Rockets' series-ending 114-81 loss to the Warriors in Wednesday's Game 5. The rebound total was a series high for Howard, but it came about in as unimpressive of a fashion as possible, as more than half of his boards came on the offensive end, where the Rockets were laying bricks all night en route to a 32.6 percent shooting night as a team. Howard was one of the primary culprits in the Rockets' awful offensive execution, as he clanked 10 of his 13 shots while staying on the floor for nearly the entire game. On the heels of a disappointing season in which he often clashed with star James Harden, Howard appears to be a safe bet to leave the Rockets in the offseason, when he'll become an unrestricted free agent. Though he's on the downside of his career and saw his offense stagnate in 2015-16, Howard is still regarded as an above-average presence on the defensive end, an attribute that should allow the 30-year-old to attract plenty of interested suitors.
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Last 7 Games
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