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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Dwight Howard has lost 25 pounds, reportedly drawing interest from teams

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard is essentially a forgotten man these days in the NBA, as he is currently on his fifth team in five years after appearing in just eight games with the Washington Wizards last season. However, the big man is expected to draw plenty of interest if and when he becomes a free agent.

Howard was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies last week, and he will likely be waived in the near future. He says he has lost 25 pounds since the end of last season, and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that several teams are “intrigued” with the 33-year-old. One executive who recently saw Howard believes he is in his best shape in years.

Howard, who underwent back surgery last year, told Charania he has changed his diet and is a “full go” after rehabbing. He also said he has checked his ego.

“I don’t have an ego — it’s dead,” Howard said. “It had to die for me to be who I am. Sometimes when you want to become who you want to be, you have to die within yourself. Once you learn that you have to give up yourself for the team, that’s when things flourish.”

There have always been questions about Howard’s level of dedication, but he insists he became a changed man after the back injury.

“This last injury that I had with my back, I really got a chance to step back and get structure for myself. I have completely changed who I am,” Howard said. “I’ve changed who I am. I always have the same personality, but as far as my mentality, it’s way different.”

Those could simply be the words of a desperate, soon-to-be free agent who will turn 34 next season, but there are plenty of teams in the NBA in need of frontcourt help. Howard averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds in 81 games with the Charlotte Hornets two seasons ago, and he has long expressed a desire to change his image. It would be a surprise if there was no team willing to give him a chance to prove it.

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