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Josh Howard at a glance

A quick look at the Wolves' latest addition and what he could mean in the near future

Mike Ehrmann

Free agent Josh Howard is on his way to 'Sota today for a physical. Assuming everything checks out, he'll then be signed to a veteran's minimum deal for the rest of the season.

Howard is the player we should have drafted in 2003 (the year we selected Ndudi Ebi). He was picked 29th overall, and proceeded to handily beat out all but one of the non-lottery picks before him (David West) during his early career with the Mavericks, averaging 15 points and 6 rebound his first five years in the NBA. After that though....

*Average WS/48 is .100, average PER is 15

Year Team WS/48 PER
06-07 Mavericks .173 20.0
07-08 Mavericks .140 18.3
08-09 Mavericks .091 17.0
09-10 Mavs/Wiz .054 12.7
10-11 Wizards -.027 9.2
11-12 Jazz .025 10.5

Keeping in mind that Howard missed nearly all of the 2010-2011 season due to injury, you can see a very clear trend. He was in steady decline his last few years in Dallas, then fell off a cliff after they traded him.

Now the Wolves aren't really in a position to be terribly picky....not with half the roster injured. And the list of free agent wing players isn't very long. But unless Howard has a massive resurgence (not likely, at age 32) he's clearly no longer a great player.

Nor would he have been my first choice. Even on the short list, there are a few players (Mickael Pietrus, Kalenna Azubuike, or my personal top choice, the return of Rodney Carney) I would have preferred.

That said, his season last year in Utah is no worse than the season Derrick Williams is having now. Further, Howard has a top-notch, multi-dimensional skillset, even if it's not always being put to good use. He can shoot reasonably well (although he lacks real three point range), defends and has solid handles, and rebounds his position very well. Like Kirilenko, he can also play the 4 in a lot of situations. At the very least, Adelman would not have gone along with this if he didn't think Howard could provide something useful.

But maybe most interesting, the Wolves chose to sign a wing player rather than a big man. Given that Pekovic and Love are both out, and Adelman has shown little faith in Stiemsma and Amundson, one would have thought the Wolves would reinforce the post first...(Tolliver, come back to us...*sadface*)...unless....

Unless Derrick Williams' days are officially numbered at this point.

Speculation at this point, but where there's smoke, there's usually fire.