Eight time NBA All-Star, three time NBA Defensive Player of the year, five time first team all NBA. How would that sound in a Bucks uniform? The man who dominates the paint and continues to give opposing teams problems down low, Dwight Howard. A defensive animal and a dunk machine.
Now, before I get too far into this, I am not looking too much into Dwight saying “I wanted to come to Milwaukee during the trade deadline.” Or “I like Milwaukee”. However, that is the reason I got the thought of writing this. First of all, a star like Dwight Howard saying this kind of thing about Milwaukee is really big for the team and the city. Other teams know what this team could become in a few years. Aside from that though, just because Dwight did not come here at the deadline, does not mean he will not come here in free agency over the summer.
Miles Plumlee in the starting lineup actually worked surprisingly well this season, he showed his athleticism from that 6’11” frame, throwing down his fair share of alley oops, and rejecting a good amount of shots, giving the Bucks that defensive presence that Greg Monroe is not. Take Miles Plumlee and multiply that by ten, and you get Dwight Howard. A much better defender, a better low post scorer and can also throw down those alley oops, or putback dunks. I got the opportunity to sit courtside to the Bucks vs Rockets game last month, where Dwight had an effortless 28 points in their loss. Grabbing board after board, dunk after dunk, he looked like an absolute beast out there.
Granted, Dwight is not the player he once was, he has not fit on a team since he was in Orlando. Dwight’s career could be rejuvenated if he comes to Milwaukee, we do not have a James Harden hogging the ball. Giannis at point guard is averaging nearly 8 assists per game, this team is very unselfish. With that being said, Dwight is not a guy like Monroe who will start at the high post and try and score from there. If he creates anything, it’s a low post look backing a defender down, or making a quick move to get around a guy and get to the rim. With the numerous alley oops already executed by Milwaukee, he is a guy who can finish those as good, if not better than Plumlee. He is a guy who can get out in transition and finish one of those passes from whoever it may be. He would be a defensive animal on this team, especially pairing up with Giannis and Middleton who are already proven defenders, making up for Monroe’s weaknesses on defense (there are a lot). Giannis and Dwight in a pick-and-roll would be dominant as well. Dwight is well below his career average of 17.8 points per game this season, that would change in Milwaukee.
At that game I sat courtside to, it was not hard to notice how energetic and easy to get along with Dwight is (I even got a “what’s up, man”) from him. On an inbound late in the game where Jabari was inbounding the ball, Dwight was defending and very playfully he tried to play a mind trick on Jabari, saying “ Alright Jabari, you are going to give me this ball” and when the ball was given to Parker he proceeded to flail his limbs in all directions and making noises while defending the inbound. Point being, he is a playful guy and would mesh perfectly personality wise with this young and less selfish team, rather than cause problems.
So what will happen to Greg Monroe? Well there are two options, one being trade him. It is not a bad idea to deal him and get a smaller/quicker guard who can guard the point guard in the starting lineup, or some depth off the bench. Second option would be to bring him off the bench which has worked well in the past. A guy like him will not likely be happy coming off the bench regularly, but it would be nice to have that big of an offensive weapon off the bench with a team that is already lacking depth.
Like I said, I am not looking too much into what Dwight said, but he could be a big target for Milwaukee in free agency for a shorter contract. With the salary cap going to increase by 60% and expiring contracts of Mayo, Vasquez, and Bayless the Bucks will have plenty of room. This would be a scary team with the presence of Dwight Howard. The defense would be much improved and a big presence in the locker room of a guy who has won before and knows how to do it. Do not be too surprised if this monster winds up in the Cream City.