N.Y. Knicks Rumors: A Complete Guide to What Dwight Howard Brings to the Table
Just in case you haven't hit the point of over-saturation on Dwight Howard stories, the New York Knicks are looking more and more like a potential suitor for the All-Star big man. Anthony Riccobono of the International Business Times reported on the possibility of the Knicks making a play for Howard. It is not as far-fetched as some believe, depending on how desperately Orlando wants to rid itself of the controversial center.
First of all, we have to look at what New York would give up in this kind of deal. The Magic would obviously need a center, so Tyson Chandler would certainly be a must-have. They could also grab Amar'e Stoudemire, who, despite a very down season, is still an explosive scoring power forward who can hit perimeter jump shots consistently.
Orlando would undoubtedly want to unload one of its bad contracts, so one has to think that that the Knicks would be bringing in either Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu or even Glen Davis depending on if they retain Ryan Anderson—a restricted free agent this summer.
Now, let's take a look at what Dwight Howard would bring to the mecca of basketball.
He would immediately take Tyson Chandler's place as the defensive anchor. But he is not quite the quarterback that Chandler is, he does not get his teammates into the right spots and he never had the same culture-changing impact Tyson did upon arriving in New York.
Still, he is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year for a reason. Howard almost single-handedly made the Magic an elite defensive team because of his ability to contest shots and control the boards. His explosiveness and ability to move around the court allows him to challenge any shot and rotate to help out a teammate.
In New York, he would be the team's primary shot-blocking presence and would form a similar defensive tandem with guard Iman Shumpert as Chandler did.
Offensively, his game certainly lacks polish, but he is still a 20-plus-points-per-game scorer because of his build and ability to simply bully opponents in the paint. Still, he has improved his post game to include a nice hook shot, and his footwork has looked better recently.
He would give the Knicks a dominant interior presence and someone who commands a double team at all times.
Howard would also be able to thrive in a New York offense with plenty of perimeter shooting. The team is poised to sign Jason Kidd, has Carmelo Anthony on the roster and if they keep Steve Novak, they would have another lethal three-point shooter to space the floor.
He plays best when the floor is open and he has scorers to kick the ball out when defenses collapse in the paint, but he also has room to work on the court.
New York plans to match the Houston Rockets' offer sheet for Jeremy Lin, according to ESPN's Ian O'Connor, meaning that Howard will have a chance to play with the star point guard. Lin was great in the pick-and-roll with Chandler, and he should be even more effective with Howard—a better offensive player.
Obviously, Howard would give the Knicks a strong rebounding presence, as he averaged a league-leading 14.5 boards per game. With the team having so much success starting Carmelo Anthony at power forward, they need a center who can crash the glass to make up for the slight size disadvantage that playing Anthony at the four spot creates.
His game still has some holes—particularly foul shooting, and the back problems he struggled through are definitely a cause for concern—but Howard is well worth the risk, as long as he would be willing to sign an extension next summer.
Ultimately, Dwight Howard would give New York its most dominant center since the Patrick Ewing era, a player who has had postseason success and who can be a difference maker on both ends of the court.
They may not have the best shot at landing him this offseason, but if the Knicks' front office could somehow broker a trade for Howard, they would be in poised for big things next season.
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