In a larger story about the New Orleans Pelicans, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported the Hawks and Pelicans held preliminary trade talks and the centerpiece of the deal was Dwight Howard. Yes, the same Dwight Howard the Hawks just signed in the offseason to a free agent deal worth $70 million over three years. The trade talk remained talk as the Pelicans were unable to generate unanimous support within the organization to acquire Howard. Pairing Dwight with Anthony Davis might have been a good thing, if Dwight was willing to accept his role as a rebounder, defender and rim runner.
What has happened to Dwight? This is a guy who led the league in rebounding just four seasons ago and took the Orlando Magic to the Finals in 2009. Yes, he has been injury prone the last few years, but it seems he has become a pariah in league circles. The Hawks just acquired him this past offseason and are already looking to offload him. Curious as to why the Hawks want to trade Dwight. We haven’t heard about any issues with Dwight in Atlanta. He’s averaging 14 points and 13 rebounds per game. He has been consistent.
The rumors about Dwight being a fake tough guy, the incessant whining, and his on court antics, are apparently reasons many of his peers seemingly dislike him. Maybe it’s also due to his unwillingness to accept who he is as a player. This was a man that used to be among the NBA’s most popular players both by fans and peers and now he is radioactive. Maybe it was the way things went in Orlando or Kobe disliking him during his time in LA. Who knows. But, I do know this. Perception unfortunately is reality, and in NBA circles people feel a certain type of way about Dwight. If he can’t find a way to change that perception, his days in the league might be numbered.