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Dwight Howard hardly suited up for the Washington Wizards.
The veteran center played in just nine games due to an assortment of injuries, and despite having another year on his original contract, the Wizards shipped Howard to the Memphis Grizzlies.
In spite of the fact that the Wizards were coming off a losing season and in desperate need of developing young talent while cutting costs, Howard said he did not know he was going to be traded (via Fred Katz of The Athletic):
“I didn’t know I was gonna get traded, but I was prepared for anything. … (Sheppard) called me. I guess they had already made the trade and he called me. And it was just like, you’re traded,” Howard said. “Nothing I could do at that point.”
Howard was eventually bought out, but he would have a different chance for redemption.
The Los Angeles Lakers were in desperate need for another center with DeMarcus Cousins suffering a torn ACL in the summer, and they brought a hoard of big men in for workouts.
Eventually, Howard earned himself a non-guaranteed deal to return to the franchise that had made him a practical wrestling heel in 2013. But so far, it has been a sweet reunion.
Howard is averaging 6.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game on just over 20 minutes per night. He has reestablished himself as one of the best rim protectors in basketball, and in turn, the Lakers have transformed into arguably the best defensive team in the NBA.
Perhaps Howard would have liked another shot at life in the nation’s capital. But he is surely doing just fine for the best team in basketball.