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Just The Sports: A Very Good Signing

Just The Sports

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Very Good Signing

As a Wake Forest basketball fan from the days of Tim Duncan and Randolph Childress and Tony Rutland, I count Josh Howard as one of my favorite Wake Forest players during my tenure as a fan for no other reason than that he was a very good player at Wake. Therefore, when he went on to have success in the NBA I was happy for him and not that he has signed a lucrative contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks I am even happier for Howard, someone who doesn't know me at all and whose millions I will never see personally.

But the signing was not just good because it sets up Howard financially for many years to come. If he had not signed with the Dallas Mavericks, he would have been able to get his money elsewhere. No, this signing was most important for the Mavericks who were very intelligent to lock up a player of Josh Howard's caliber at least until the 2010-11 season.

My own personal feelings for Josh Howard aside, behind Dirk Nowitzki, he is the most important player on the Mavericks roster. He has the prototypical long NBA body and his versatility allows him to play either the guard and forward position, both offensively and defensively. Also, his offensive rating has increased each of his three years in the NBA, going from 107 to 108 to 115, on the strength of his shooting (career 48.2% eFG), rebounding, and passing. If he was to maintain this level of play for the next six or seven years, Howard will have cobbled together a career any NBA player would be proud to call his own.

This season, if Howard remains healthy for the entire season, there is no reason why he will not able to shoulder more of the offensive burden (hopefully taking away some of Jerry Stackhouse's possessions) for Dallas while maintaining his high offensive efficiency. Even if that is not the case, Dallas will certainly be rewarded for investing their money in Josh Howard and ensuring that the most important cogs of the roster will be playing together for a long time to come.

If only ever NBA player signing was this much of a no-brainer.


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