There remains a place on the Hawks for Dwight Howard, according to new general manager Travis Schlenk.
The Hawks signed Howard to a three-year, $70.5 million deal as an unrestricted free agent last season. There are two years remaining on the contract after an up-and-down season that had the center on the bench in the fourth quarters of several close games, including the playoffs.
“Listen, Dwight is one of the best big guys in the league still,” Schlenk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He averaged 13 points and 13 rebounds a game. He’s one of the best rebounders in the league. He’s one of the best rim protectors in the league.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Dwight personally. We’ve exchanged some text messages. I certainly plan to talk to him soon and get to know him. I’m not going to judge you from what I’ve heard. Let me see you face-to-face.”
Howard will make $23.5 million next season, the highest salary on the roster of signed players. Howard ranked fifth in the NBA at 12.7 rebounds per game and sixth at 940 total rebounds last season. He ranked 20th in the league with 1.2 blocks per game.
“There is a reason Atlanta was one of the top five defenses in the league,” Schlenk said. “He was a big part of that.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.