The Washington Wizards defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 115-99, in Game 6 to advance to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Hawks center Dwight Howard expressed his frustration with how his first season in Atlanta ended, especially after receiving a diminished role in the final games of the season and in the playoffs.
Last summer, Dwight Howard left the Houston Rockets and signed a three-year, $70.5 million deal with his hometown team, Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks decided to pursue Howard after losing Al Horford in free agency. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as expected as Howard struggled with the Hawks’ offense.
Dwight Howard regrets signing with the Atlanta Hawks
In the remaining games of the 2016-17 NBA season, Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer decided to decrease Howard’s playing time. Howard’s situation got worse when Budenholzer benched him for the entire fourth quarters of two playoff games. The 31-year-old center was extremely upset with his role with the Hawks and plans to talk to Budenholzer about his future.
“It hurts,” Howard said. “I’m sure if you wrote the best stories in the world and nobody read your stories and they told you to stop writing and you saw somebody else’s story that wasn’t as good as yours, I’m pretty sure you’d be pissed, too. That’s how it is in basketball.”
Dwight Howard is undeniably an odd fit with the Hawks. He struggled with the Hawks’ ball-movement, pick-and-roll offense. Howard made it clear that he joined the Hawks not just to come back home but to win. Coach Mike Budenholzer revealed that he plans to address the issue in the coming weeks. He hinted that Howard isn’t the only problem on their offense.
“It’s not just about Dwight,” Budenholzer said. “I understand the questions, I understand Dwight’s frustrations. But offense is about five guys, and Dwight brings a lot to the table that can help us be a good offensive team. All of us have to figure out how to make it better.”
Will the Hawks try to trade Dwight Howard this summer?
With Howard failing to make himself fit in Atlanta, the Hawks may consider trading him in the upcoming offseason. Unfortunately, it remains questionable if there are NBA teams who are interested in adding him to their team, especially with his expensive contract. As of now, the only thing they can do is find a way to improve their chemistry.
Aside from Howard, the Hawks should convince Paul Millsap to re-sign this summer. Millsap will become an unrestricted free agent. He’s expected to be one of the most coveted superstars in the upcoming free agency.
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