As Rockets face dysfunctional end to season, Howard likely to depart | ESPN
As you may recall, the Dwight Howard-to-the-Bucks rumors started at the deadline and were further fanned by Gus Johnson a couple weeks later. On Wednesday they got another boost from ESPN's Calvin Watkins, who cited the Bucks as a potential favorite to land the 30-year-old former superstar this summer.
Howard is not expected to have a role. It's expected that he will become a free agent and seek a new team. Orlando, Milwaukee, Portland and Charlotte are the favorites.
It's not clear if the Bucks' inclusion is based on anything recent or simply a rehashing of old news, but it will bear watching come July 1 -- and indirectly reiterates the prevailing wisdom that Greg Monroe is on his way out one way or another.
As for Howard? Well, that's a tricky one. From what I gather on Twitter and in the comments, most people's opinion of Howard would fall somewhere between "NO WAY" and "Meh, for the right price...maybe?" All of which highlights the intangible difficulty of parsing blame for the Rockets' wildly disappointing season and understanding whether Howard's personality is more likable goofball or distracting drama queen.
Watkins reiterates that the Howard-Harden dynamic simply hasn't worked this season, all of which is a shame considering Howard is still a very productive player even when he's not getting consistent touches offensively. It certainly seems like Harden shoulders more of the blame for the Rockets' toxic locker room, but few people will give Dwight the benefit of the doubt given his ignominious exits from Orlando and L.A. So as much as you might like what Howard can still do numbers-wise, the chemistry question is bound to follow him no matter where he goes.
And what about Dwight Howard the basketball player? After putting up big numbers while playing with a torn MCL and meniscus in last year's playoffs, Howard saw his role diminish throughout the Rockets' wildly disappointing 41-41 season -- yet still managed to post 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while converting a career-best 62.0% from the field. For almost anyone else those would be career-best numbers, but with Howard they've largely been lost in the fog and frustration of an underwhelming season. Afterall, life is relative: Dwight's not the same dominant paint presence he once was -- he's really not worth posting up much anymore -- his struggles from the foul line are a major issue (48.9%) and few guys are as easily frustrated during games as Howard. Then again, he's also still a monster on the defensive boards, an automatic finisher around the rim and even Kevin McHale highlighted him as one of the few guys who actually tried before McHale was fired for a slow start to the season. Dwight can play, and someone will pay him a lot of money to do it.
The problem is the intangible risk and injury concerns that will come with paying the 30-year-old Howard whatever it takes to get him, all of which makes it perfectly reasonable to feel a team like the Bucks shouldn't bother. And if we're talking about aging big guys with bad contracts, I'd probably prefer taking Tyson Chandler off the Suns' hands (three years, $39 million) to giving Howard three or four years at $20-25 million per season. Chandler's three years older and far less splashy than Dwight, but he's significantly cheaper, doesn't bring the same emotional baggage and actually came around a fair bit after a slow start in Phoenix last fall. Ditto someone like Robin Lopez, who maybe could be had in some form of a Monroe deal.
Herb Kohl reflects on Bucks ownership | JS
Herb Kohl's tenure as owner of the Milwaukee Bucks was never as successful on the court as he would have liked, but reading Gary D'Amato's Q&A offers a nice reminder of the humble, loyal steward he was for the city of Milwaukee and state of Wisconsin. I'm not sure how he'll be honored once the new arena opens, but I'm excited that we'll be able to say thank you at least one more time.
As for the basketball bits, Kohl doesn't back down from the recurring criticisms he faced as owner, and he also didn't mince words on his biggest regret:
"Well, he and (coach) George Karl got into it and it just didn't work so we traded him," Kohl said. "I didn't make the trade, but I let it happen. It became very much of a personality thing and so we traded Ray. In terms of unfortunate moments, that was our most unfortunate moment, letting Ray Allen leave town."
2016 NBA Mock Draft: Michigan State's Deyonta Davis cracks lottery | CBSSports.com
French wing Timothe Luwawu has a phenomenal and puntastic name (Fave music: Luwawu-Tang Clan; Future apparel deal: Luwawu Lemon). He's also among the late lottery's most intriguing prospects, which is why we shouldn't be surprised that CBS Sports' Sam Vecenie has him going #10 to the Bucks in his latest mock:
Luwawu would fit next to a wide variety of Bucks' players if he can get his shot down. He'd be able to play next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, or next to Jabari Parker as a 3, or next to Rashard Vaughn if they played him at the 2. His length and athleticism are calling cards, and should translate well both to the Bucks defensive scheme and to the way the NBA is going.
He doesn't bring the name brand of Buddy Hield -- who likely won't be around at #10 anyway -- but Luwawu is still fairly young (he turns 21 in May) and coming off a season in which he put up big raw numbers against major European competition, including dramatic improvement from the perimeter (37% from the European three point line). But his two-point percentage was weirdly low (41%) and his numbers took a huge dip in the second half of the season, so there's reason to be wary even if he does seem to have the beginnings of real ball skills and major two-way potential:
Of course, not everyone is quite so bullish on Luwawu. While DX has him ranked 12th overall, Chad Ford dropped him from 18th to 28th on his latest "big board" ranking, and Kevin Pelton mentioned on Twitter that his numbers don't project well in his models. From Ford:
Luwawu is generally considered an ideal 3-and-D prospect, though lately I've heard more and more teams come back a bit disappointed after scouting him overseas.
He may be on the underrated-then-overrated curve right now.
@brewhoop Nope, still have to run the numbers on those though I can preview that Luwawu's numbers were not good.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) April 29, 2016
All of which serves as a nice reminder that if a player is available at #10, he's definitely going to have flaws. No one said drafting was easy, eh?