Reports surfaced last night that free agent center Dwight Howard will be taking a face-to-face meeting with the Boston Celtics. Howard, standing at 6-feet-11-inches, has had an inconsistent career that has shown flashes of brilliance while also wearing out his welcome with three teams. The decision to sign Howard will not be a no-brainer, but if successful he could provide several elements the Celtics need.
Despite being a good defensive team, the Celtics ranked No. 15 in the NBA with 33.3 defensive rebounds per game. This is an area that Howard would immediately help the Cetlics improve. He would also help the Celtics on the offensive glass and in the low post, where Boston has a shortage of talent. He isn’t the beast he was in Orlando, but he can still be a major upgrade for Boston inside the paint.
The biggest question with Howard has always been motivation and personality clashes. He has clashed with players and coaches in every locker room he has been in and has been admonished for his lack of a “killer instinct” when closing out games throughout his career. However, whichever team signs Howard this offseason might finally be getting a fully motivated player.
Howard stated earlier this offseason that this may be his final chance to land a big contract and he’s motivated to make it worth a team’s while. If that motivation will stay with him for the duration of the contract is the bigger question.
In Boston’s case, signing Howard would also help them get the required salary cap floor, if they didn’t sign any other high priced free agents. Howard is a big personality, but at 30 years old he is a bit past his prime and would have the burden of winning completely on his shoulders, which may help him succeed. It is smart of the Celtics to take the meeting with Howard, but they should be cautious if they pursue signing him.