Here are two parties that think they have far more clout than they actually do.
Dwight Howard thinks that because he’s Dwight Howard, eight-time All Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, teams should be lining up to give him the max. He doesn’t realize that teams don’t particularly like 30-year-old centers who demand post touches, can’t stay healthy and is a whiny little twerp.
The Miami Heat think that because they’re the Miami Heat star free agents should line up to sign with them for discounted salaries. They don’t realize that Goran Dragic is old, Dwyane Wade is older and Chris Bosh might never play again. They don’t see that they just aren’t all that attractive as a team right now.
So Howard is going to spend the first week of free agency looking around for the max and turning off every team he meets with while Miami spends the first week of free agency pitching Kevin Durant not realizing that they don’t have the talent to sign him. Howard won’t sign a contract. Miami will lose Hassan Whiteside. And thus, a fit will be born.
Miami’s going to need a center to maintain their illusion of competitiveness, Howard’s going to need a respected organization to help get his stock back up for free agency next year. So Howard will sign a one-year prove it deal, help get Miami back to the second round, and then both sides will amicably split to pursue flashier options.
And honestly it’s not exactly a bad move for either side. Howard needs some discipline. He needs Dwyane Wade yelling at him and Erik Spoelstra kicking his ass in practice. If he earns their respect more teams will look at him next season, and maybe he’ll actually win something in his career.
Miami should really just re-sign Whiteside, but since they won’t, aligning the ages of their major players makes some sense. Go for it for another year with Wade, Howard, Bosh and Dragic, and assuming that doesn’t work, tear things down and start fresh with cap space and the young guys over the next few years. There’s not really a downside.
And thus, the winner of the 2016 Rajon Rondo memorial one-year prove it deal is Dwight Howard signing with the Miami Heat.
Likely Contract: One Year, $16.5 Million