The Portland Trail Blazers had one of the youngest teams in the NBA last year, so general manager Kevin Pritchard has been tirelessly working hard to infuse some veterans into his roster this offseason.
After striking out on free-agent studs Hedo Turkoglu and Paul Millsap, Pritchard is now down to Plan C, D and E. Their options came down to Juwan Howard, Stromile Swift and Greg Ostertag (yes, Greg Ostertag). This is like picking the least rotten apple from the apple cart.
Pritchard covered his nose, closed his eyes and plucked Howard out of that bunch. He signed a one-year contract with the Trail Blazers, the team announced recently.
“Juwan Howard will add a wealth of experience and veteran savvy to our young, talented roster,” Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “We look forward to Juwan’s contributions on the court and in the locker room.”
The 6-foot-9 power forward was the 14th player added to the Blazers roster in advance of fall camp. Howard, 36, has averaged 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in 1,043 games. He has appeared in the playoffs four times, averaging 9.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists.
Howard, the fifth player selected in the 1994 draft, has not been relevant in the league since his days in Washington when the franchise was still the Bullets.
Blazer fans, don’t expect much out of Howard this season.