NBA Roundtable

Josh Howard Torn ACL

In General NBA on February 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm

RealGM has the press release

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard/forward Josh Howard has a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season. Howard suffered the injury in last night’s game vs. Chicago at the 4:23 mark of the first quarter.In four games (three starts) for Washington this season, Howard averaged 14.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. No timetable has been announced for Howard’s recovery.

Terrible news for Josh Howard …

I wonder what this will do to his market value in free agency this summer. It’s becoming more and more likely that Howard will be available for an MLE type contract.

A team who is willing to take a risk (on health + performance) could get a large reward by taking a chance on Howard.

  1. Howard to the Raptors? Thoughts?

  2. Hey Simon Says,

    In the summer? For the MLE? Hmm … first reaction, yes.

    Second reaction? Hmm … not sure.

    I think the Raptors have enough offensive players in that starting lineup already. Enough players who need a large amount of touches. I think if you bring in another high usage player that Turkoglu’s performance will drop even further and the two point guards will likely drop off too. So a lot of your new offensive player’s contributions will be coming at the expense of others.

    I also think DeRozan has a higher ceiling than what Howard has to offer at this stage of his career — Howard = good-to-very good defense + decent rebounding (slightly below par for SF, good for SG) + negative as a passer + solid scorer — so I would rather see DeRozan continue to start. For his development to continue being a priority. I don’t think Howard offers enough as an individual, or vaults the Raps far enough up the standings, to put DeRozan’s development on the back burner.

    I think the Raps would be better off with more of a role player. Someone who is more comfortable being a complementary offensive player and more committed to making non-scoring contributions. An Ariza type for example.

    Still, while Howard isn’t an ideal fit he would be a nice backup wing player. He could get close to 30 minutes a game backing up DeRozan + Turkoglu. Having Calderon + Howard as your first two players off the bench would a great weapon to have too. Keep Amir and you have a nice eight man rotation. Bring back Rasho, add a Quinton Ross type and a James Singleton all on minimum contracts and you’d be 11 deep. Plus Reggie Evans, 12 deep.

    If Josh Howard was willing to accept a sixth man role with Raptors for the MLE … then, yes, I think the Raps should definitely pursue him. He’s a risky signing because of his play + injuries over the past two years but he’s a high reward type risk. If Howard is not willing to accept that role and I doubt he will be especially for a non-contender, then I do not think the Raps should try to sign him.

    Other MLE Targets

    I think Mike Miller is the better player between the two of them. He’d be my first choice.

    I don’t think there’s anyone else in free agency that is better than Josh Howard for the MLE. Ronnie Brewer, perhaps, but he’s a restricted free agent and Memphis is likely to match.

    I think Tyrus Thomas is the best potential MLE signing but he’s an unrestricted free agent too. With Bargnani around his role would also be smaller than I would ideally like.

    Link2010 Free Agent List

    Note: Rasual Butler would be a nice signing for $2.5-$3.5 million. He is also a good-to-very good defender and a very good shooter. Good size and athleticism too. Mainly a two guard, not as effective as a three but serviceable. Another option for the Raps if they didn’t want to spend their full MLE or if they wanted to split their MLE.

    Luxury Tax Concerns

    Raptors are already at the expected luxury tax threshold ($65 million) for a high cap figure ($54 million). This doesn’t include a potential MLE signing or re-signing Amir Johnson. Those two moves would add another $10 million to their salaries, doubled for luxury tax, so an addition of $20 million to their payroll.

    I would be surprised if the Raptors used their MLE this summer and I think there’s a very good chance they let Amir Johnson go too. If Amir agrees to a deal that is under $3.5 million, I think they keep him, but over that amount and I think the situation gets dicey.

    If the Raptors do resign Amir Johnson then I would not expect them to use their MLE. I think it will be one or the other.

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