The Dwight Howard saga is over…finally…again. Maybe Howard will want to be traded from his new team, the Houston Rockets, by the middle of next year, but what we do know is that for now Howard is a Rocket and that is a great fit for his fantasy basketball stock.
Despite dealing with a bad back for much of the year and losing points to Kobe Bryant in a Los Angeles Lakers offense that just wasn’t a great fit, Howard was still one of the top fantasy scorers and was yet again the top center.
Howard again averaged a double-double with 17.1 points per game and 12.4 rebounds per game. He also averaged 2.45 blocks, third amongst centers, and made the most free throws in the league with 355. Of course, he also missed the most as he attempted a league-leading 721, but that’s a stat that may not matter as much in certain scoring formats.
While Kobe did a reasonable job trying to share the ball last year (6.0 assists per), we all knew that when it was crunch time, it was Kobe time. In Houston, Howard joins James Harden, a great scorer who also averaged 5.8 APG, second only to Bryant among shooting guards. The Rockets will run their offense through Harden and Howard, and it will be up-tempo, so the big man is going to have to run up and down the court.
Nonetheless, as a centerpiece with a back that clearly improved at the end of last season (averaged a high of 15 rebounds per in the month of March), Howard should be a first-round pick and the first center off the board again in 2013 fantasy basketball leagues.