08/02/2010 - 14:16
After weighing his options over the summer, Josh Howard has decided that D.C. is where he wants to be.
No. 5 signed a one-year contract late last week to return to the Washington Wizards, for whom he played four games last February before tearing his ACL to put an early end to his season.
"He has made a decision to return to the Wizards," Josh’s agent Derek Lafayette said. "We're just happy that he's happy."
Lafayette told NBA.com’s David Aldridge that the Show had developed an affinity for D.C. and the Wizards in his short time with the team.
"A lot of teams were interested, but his heart and soul was in Washington," said Lafayette, who allowed that Howard may have signed elsewhere if there was more money in the rapidly-dwindling free agent market."
Aldridge cited the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls among Josh’s other suitors, but Washington offered No. 5 his best opportunity and the Wizards excited about what Josh offers them as well.
"We were impressed with Josh’s versatility, how well he fit in with our team and his attitude and work ethic both before and after his unfortunate knee injury," said Grunfeld. "His experience playing in a winning situation makes him an ideal veteran presence for us as we develop our roster of young talent."
Over four games with the Wizards last season, Josh averaged 14.5 points per game, but early in a February 22nd game with the Bulls, Josh went down to injury. He elected to have surgery to repair the injury and continued his rehab with the Wizards through the end of the season.
Since then, The Show has continued to work hard to recover and hopes to be back on the court early in the 2010-2011 season, as noted by the Washington Post’s Michael Lee:
"Lafayette said Howard is "ahead of schedule" and doing "very well" with his rehablitation. Howard visited with doctors this week, is expecting to soon start running and is scheduled to be back going full speed by late October. "They are really satisfied with the way that he is healing," Lafayette said of the doctors. "All the reports are coming back good and that he is ahead of schedule post-surgery."
Along with resigning Josh, the Wizards have made several other moves to improve this summer including trading for guard Kirk Hinrich and bringing in big men Yi Jianlian and Hilton Armstrong.
But the biggest move was the No. 1 overall selection of point guard John Wall out of the University of Kentucky in the 2010 NBA Draft. Wall has drawn acclaim as one of the best young point guards to come into the league in a long time and was happy that the team chose to re-sign Josh, as he posted on his Twitter account:
"Glad to hear we resigned Josh Howard...Feel he can help us out a lot!!!"
Josh Howard deal a steal for Washington Wizards? (The Washington Post, July 30, 2010)
Josh Howard returning to the Wizards (The Washington Post, July 28, 2010)
Wizards re-sign free agent forward Howard to one year deal (NBA.com, July 28, 2010)
Quick thoughts on keeping Josh Howard (Bullets Forever, July 29, 2010)
Wizards re-sign free agent Josh Howard (NBA.com, July 29, 2010
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