When the Lakers traded for Dwight Howard, some wondered if it was a smart move considering he might only be in Los Angeles for one season. But if the Lakers are going to have Howard for just one season, this might be the one to have as some of Howard’s contemporaries have shown that big men peak at age 27.
Below is a look at the year-by-year Win Shares (WS; measures a player’s all-around production) for Howard, Kevin Garnett, and Shaquille O’Neal. And what we see is that Garnett and Shaq had amazingly similar career patterns. That is, they both peaked at age 27 and then very quickly declined as the wear-and-tear of playing inside started to take its toll on their bodies.
Howard ‘s production was very similar until injuries and front office drama set in this past season. He should still be very good for another 3-4 year. But if he can stay healthy, we could see Howard at his best this upcoming season before his career starts to decline for good.
Data via Basketball-Reference.com. The lockout-shortened ’98-’99 and ’11-’12 seasons were scaled up to full 82-game seasons
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