Most observers feel it is a foregone conclusion that the Lakers will offer Dwight Howard a max contract (5 years, $117 million). But if other big men are any indication, Howard will never live up to a contract that big.
Below is look at the average Win Shares (WS; measures a player’s all-around production in terms of how many wins he is worth) for the six most dominant big men in recent years*. What we see is that dominant big men peak at ages 27 and 28 before starting a very quick decline. The only player in this group that did not decline past age 28 was Pau Gasol.
There is also the fear that Howard has already started his decline. As a player that went straight from high school to the NBA, he has more miles on his tires than most players at his age.
And that is just another red flag suggesting that 2-3 years into his next contract, Howard will be grossly overpaid…
Data via Basketball-Reference.com* The players used in this study include Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, Yao Ming.
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