Dwight Howard’s blatantly obvious statement on Joel Embiid, Sixers starting center job
After completely turning his career around during his 2019-20 campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard was sure to be a hot commodity once free agency got underway. While he’s found his new home with the Philadelphia 76ers, the elephant in the room was bound to be discussed in terms of his role on the team alongside Joel Embiid.
Howard responded to that notion on Wednesday during a conference with reporters (via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer):
Dwight Howard: “I know Joel is the star center. I’m not looking to come in here and take his job…”
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 25, 2020
Howard served as the backup center during his time with the Lakers as well, but he was often featured with Anthony Davis in particular lineups that reaped great benefits in terms of frontcourt production. Adding Howard to the mix gave the Lakers a tremendous defensive anchor and rim protection.
The last big man to share the floor with Embiid in monumental fashion was Al Horford, who was eventually moved to the bench before being traded this offseason. Howard coming onto the team with minor expectations as being the leading star in the frontcourt is a good sign of things to come during his time with the Sixers.
The eight-time All-Star averaged 7.5 points per game while grabbing 7.3 rebounds through 18.9 minutes last season. After signing a non-guaranteed deal back in 2019, most pundits viewed him as a steal for the Lakers after he began turning in productive performances shortly afterwards.
Howard was expected to re-sign with the Lakers once free agency began, and apparently that was the case according to a now-deleted tweet with Howard expressing his love for LA and his intentions to resign. That news was shortly thereafter washed away with word of him deciding to pair w with new Sixers head coach Doc Rivers in Philly.