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2 reasons Nets must sign Dwight Howard in 2022 NBA free agency

Dwight Howard, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Free Agency, Dwight Howard free agency

There is seemingly nothing but uncertainty surrounding the Brooklyn Nets. The offseason has been dominated by contract talks, trade requests, and rumors surrounding the team. While there are some bigger moves sure to be on the horizon, the team must still focus on building a proper roster to compete this season. One name that has come up recently is Dwight Howard. Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson went on Spotify Live and said that he spoke personally to Dwight Howard and confirmed there is mutual interest.

The 18-year NBA veteran deserves a ton of credit for reinventing himself as a role player in the league. It is not always easy for a former superstar to transition to a more minimal role but Howard has been effective in this. The former number one overall pick has spent two of the last three seasons with the Lakers and had a one-year stop with the Sixers in between. Howard has grown into a positive bench asset and is still a capable contributor. Here are two reasons why the Nets would be wise to add the future Hall of Famer to their current roster.

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2 reasons Nets must sign Dwight Howard in 2022 NBA free agency

Perfect backup to Nic Claxton

The days of Dwight Howard playing a starting role are gone and the veteran is aware of this. The Nets have an exciting young big man in Nic Claxton who is expected to take a step forward in his role this season. Claxton averaged 20.7 minutes per game last season where he produced 8.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game. He was effective as a screen and roller and is a solid lob threat for his teammates. The 23-year-old plays a simplistic role that fits the modern NBA and is effective in what he does.

While they are on opposite sides of their career trajectories, Dwight Howard is similar in his style of play. The 36-year-old has almost entirely eliminated post touches from his game and knows his role on the team. He would be a seamless rotational fit and be able to fill in Claxton’s role in the offense perfectly.

While some might argue that Day’Ron Sharpe is ready for the role, the 20-year-old is still fairly raw. If anything, having Howard to learn from could help accelerate his growth as well. The eight-time all-star has embraced his role as a mentor to young players and would willingly spend extra time working with him. This has been the case with Dwight Howard with both the Lakers and Sixers in recent years.

Positive Lockerrom Presence

The perception of Dwight Howard has drastically changed throughout his career. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year was criticized for his mentality early on in his career. He struggled to carry himself like a superstar and this rubbed off on his team in the wrong way. However, in the later stages of his career, the big man has changed this perception. Several members of the Lakers and Sixers gloat about what an ideal teammate he is and how much they enjoyed playing alongside him. Without so much pressure to be the main guy, Howard has been able to relax and simply be himself.

While the Nets have some larger issues to face, it is clear the organization needs more positivity. The mix of personalities has not worked thus far and is a significant cause of the eruption within the organization. The damage may be too far gone to repair the current collection of players, but Howard could play a key role in rebuilding the team’s mental outlook moving forward. The big man also was extremely vocal in his defense of Ben Simmons following his fallout in Philadelphia. Simmons could use another guy in his corner as he makes his on-court transition and Dwight Howard would likely be welcomed with open arms.

The Nets have far bigger issues than their backup center but they must start somewhere. The impact that Dwight Howard can make on the court and in the locker room would be a major benefit to Brooklyn. The meshing of personalities is often undervalued when looking at roster construction and this is something the Nets have gotten wrong the past few years. Obviously, on-court play is still the most important thing but the impact that Howard could have in righting the direction of the team’s mentality may be more valuable than any free agent signing. The veteran deserves a ton of credit for reinventing himself and being capable of making this type of impact.