I am absolutely through the roof ecstatic about the move the General Manager of the Washington Wizards Ernie Grunfeld made getting rid of Marcin Gortat and replacing him with a possible Hall of Famer big man in Dwight Howard. This move was an all-around boost to the team on and off of the court. Now, I must admit that I was kind of skeptical when the Wizards pulled the trigger and traded Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers so early in free agency. However, when I got the ESPN notification on my phone that the Wizards are going to sign Dwight Howard from the Charlotte Hornets I was absolutely elated.
I say this because Marcin Gortat was a solid big for the Wizards for the most part averaging 8.4 points per game (ppg), 7.6 rebound per game (rpg), and 0.7 blocks per game (bpg). Nonetheless, there were points in the game where he would go completely missing on both sides of the ball, letting easy finishes go at the rim while finishing the season with only 61 blocks. [F1] On offense there were times where it felt like there were only 4 people on the court with his lackadaisical play finishing the season with 690 points[F2]. His play would sometimes frustrate me, but when I found out that he was causing problems in the locker room with the main star I lost it.
Now as I digress on the other hand in Dwight Howard you have an athletic big which John Wall has been asking for forever. Also, he is statistically better than Gortat in almost every category averaging 17.4 ppg, 12.7 rpg, and 2 bpg last season for the Charlotte Hornets. Now I know that Dwight Howard isn’t the same player he was when he was on the Orlando Magic playing in the NBA Finals. Regardless, Howard still can be a defensive anchor for a team finishing last season with 131 blocks.
Also, you have a guy who never sleeps on the backboard and grabs those evasive loose balls that Washington sometimes doesn’t feel like getting; finishing last season with 1,012 rebounds. Now I don’t know about you but to me that’s a lot of boards. There was a game last season where he finished with 30 points and 30 rebounds. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the guy can score and actually be relied on to at least remain an option on the court finishing the season with 1,347 points? No I haven’t forgotten about his past history with other teams and his attitude problems but in Washington at least he will perform well enough to have a voice. He is a new face with a winning organization. I feel he is aware of his new environment and will seize the new opportunity he has been given and take advantage of it.