Report: Michigan's Juwan Howard Expected to Be in 'High Demand' for NBA Jobs

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Michigan head coach Juwan Howard on the bench in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

NBA teams are reportedly circling around Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard

According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, a number of teams are expected to have interest in Howard for potential head coaching vacancies over the summer:

"Despite being in just his second year as Michigan's head coach, Howard has long been viewed as a leading candidate for NBA head-coaching jobs, dating to his time as an assistant with the Miami Heat. Last summer, he put out a statement saying he is not 'exploring, seeking or listening' in regard to NBA opportunities, but many NBA executives feel Howard will be in high demand once again this offseason."

Howard, 48, had an NBA career that spanned 19 seasons with the Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers and the Miami Heat. He averaged 13.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in his career. 

He also spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Heat (2013-14 to 2018-19) before taking over as Michigan's head honcho. In two seasons guiding his alma mater, Howard has gone 39-16 and led the Wolverines to a No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA tournament and a Big Ten regular-season title. 

Howard's presence has also bolstered Michigan's recruiting. The school has the top 2021 recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports.com's Composite Rankings, highlighted by 5-star power forwards Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate. 

As Givony wrote, Howard has quickly "wowed onlookers in the basketball industry with the level of preparation, discipline and execution his team displays, as well as the strong relationship he has built with his players."

Givony continued:

"He has been highly innovative in the X's and O's department. He is clearly beloved by everyone he has worked with through the years. And he has empowered his players to step out of their comfort zones and develop the skill sets needed to succeed at the NBA level, including helping [Franz] Wagner rocket into lottery conversations and [Isaiah] Livers develop some first-round buzz prior to his unfortunate injury."

Howard has a good thing going at Michigan. From the sounds of it, however, NBA teams will try to convince him the grass is greener at the professional level.