NBA Free Agents: Signing Josh Howard Would Destroy Chicago Bulls' Chemistry

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIDecember 2, 2011

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Josh Howard #5 of the  Washington Wizards posts up against Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat during a game against at American Airlines Arena on February 25, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls have reached out to the Washington Wizards' Josh Howard, but signing the reserve swingman would destroy the Bulls' team chemistry.

Howard, a 31-year-old who played college ball at Wake Forest, will not be a good backup for Bulls small forward Luol Deng. He is a big distraction and the Bulls don't need that in their locker room.

While he was with the Dallas Mavericks, Howard was suspended two regular season games for getting into a fight with then-Sacramento Kings center Brad Miller in the 2007 preseason.

In 2008, Howard was in the news again for the wrong reasons as he admitted to smoking weed during the offseason on a radio station. Howard was also irresponsible on the road and was arrested for drag racing.

Howard was not done, as he disrespected the National Anthem at a charity basketball game September 2008. He said "I don't celebrate this (expletive). I'm black."

Besides some character issues, Howard has had many health problems. He has missed 140 games the past three seasons and tore the ACL in his left knee this year while playing against the Bulls.

Character and health issues aren't the only concerns with Howard. He averaged a pedestrian 8.4 points on 35.8 percent shooting last year while averaging 22.7 minutes a game.

Those numbers are considerably lower than his 15.1-point and 45.2 percent shooting career averages.

Howard's athleticism is on the decline and he might have a problem keeping up with the Bulls' younger players.

The Bulls do need to have a better backup for Deng, and that reserve could be rookie Jimmy Butler. Butler, who was drafted from Marquette, is a solid defender who was a good scorer in college.

Plus, Butler grew up a huge Bulls fan, so he would have a team first attitude that Howard would lack.

If the Bulls signed Howard, he would be a distraction to a close-knit team and hurt Chicago's title chances.