Howard (back) informed the Wizards on Friday that he would exercise his $5.6 million player option for 2019-20, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reports. Limited to just nine appearances in his first season in Washington due to a back injury that ultimately required surgery, Howard wasn't likely to find any team willing to pay him $5.6 million had he explored free agency. He thus determined it was in his best interest to exercise his option, ensuring that he'll be back with the Wizards for another season. Though Washington envisioned Howard serving as a stopgap starter at center heading into last season, it's unclear if the 33-year-old will get the opportunity to even compete for a top-unit role if he returns to training camp at full health. Thomas Bryant flashed an intriguing skill set at center during his second NBA season, and the Wizards might not be willing to reduce his playing time in 2019-20 to accommodate Howard. Washington may also bolster its frontcourt through free agency, trade or the draft, which would further reduce Howard's chances of re-emerging as an impact player.
Coach Scott Brooks said that it's "pretty safe to say" that Howard (back) won't return this season, Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports. With the Wizards sitting outside of the playoff picture going into the last week of the season, the Wizards seem to be content letting Howard miss the last few games. He's still limited to just non-contact work, meaning he's likely still got quite a bit of progress to make before he'd be ready to return. With Howard expected to miss the remainder of the season, Bobby Portis and Thomas Bryant should continue to see the bulk of the workload at center.
Coach Scott Brooks said Monday that the Wizards haven't shut Howard (back) down for the season, despite the center being limited to non-contact work on the court, Fred Katz of The Athletic reports. The Wizards enter Tuesday's action 4.5 games off the pace for the eighth seed in the Western Conference with three weeks remaining in the regular season. Given the team's position in the standings, there's little incentive at this point to rush Howard back into action even if he turns a corner in what has been a prolonged recovery from back surgery along with a hamstring injury. Expect the Wizards to proceed with Bobby Portis and Thomas Bryant as their primary options at center the rest of the way.
Coach Scott Brooks said Monday that he has no updates on Howard's (back) recovery, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reports. Brooks noted that he "won't say it isn't looking good" but followed up by acknowledging that time is running out for Howard to get back on the floor this season. The veteran big man hasn't played since mid-November, and at this point, even if he does return, he'd likely see limited minutes in just a handful of contests.
Coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday that Howard (back) suffered a minor setback when he tweaked his hamstring while doing non-contact drills, Fred Katz of The Athletic reports. Howard was already a ways away from his return to the court while he works his way back from back surgery, but now he may have a hamstring injury to go along with it. With that, it appears unlikely that the big man returns before the end of March, and at that point, it puts the remainder of the season in doubt. Howard has appeared in just nine games for the Wizards this season.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||75||422||59.6||0||0.0||264||53.5||1108||14.77||2232|