He seems to be a museum piece out there on the court, who has certainly lasted longer in the NBA than college teammates Chris Webber and Jalen Rose.
Juwan Howard was once one of the highest paid, many will say overpaid, players in the NBA and now he continues to extend his career by joining teams that pay him the veteran minimum. Not that the veteran minimum is bad money.
Born in Chicago, Howard went to Michigan to play college basketball. That team made a lot of news, for good reasons and bad, but never won the big game although they got close. Howard starred for three seasons, with averages of 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
In his junior season, after Webber had left for the NBA, Howard showed what he could do by increasing his scoring average by over 6 points per game. The Washington Bullets drafted him with the 5th pick of the 1994 draft.
The Bullets were not sure if he was a center or a power forward, and it became more confused when they also added Webber to the team. Howard was a consistent player for them with around 18 points and 8 rebounds per game.
After several seasons, Miami came along with a giant contract offer. He signed it, but the NBA didn’t allow it. Washington did give him a huge deal too, so he stayed. Washington would then spend a lot of time trying to trade him and his contract.
Dallas had a lot of money to spend, so they sent what seemed their entire bench to get Howard.
The trade was Howard and Calvin Booth and Obinna Ekezie going to Dallas for Courtney Alexander, Hubert Davis, Christian Laettner, Etan Thomas, Loy Vaught and cash. Dallas got some games from Howard and waited for the year when his contract was to expire.
Dallas cashed in their trade asset when Denver wanted to rebuild and cut costs. Howard and his expiring deal went to Denver along with Tim Hardaway, Donnell Harvey, a first round pick and cash for Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Avery Johnson, Raef LaFrentz and Nick Van Exel.
The deal was really about Dallas getting Van Exel and LaFrentz and Denver saving a lot of money. Howard would start to be a journeyman of the NBA when his contract ended.
The next stop was Orlando, signing as a free agent. He had a solid season there. He was then a minor piece in a blockbuster deal between Orlando and Houston as he and Tracy McGrady, Tyronn Lue and Reece Gaines were traded for Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato. As a Rocket, Howard’s points per game average dropped for the first time in his career to under 10 points per game.
Howard then went back for quick stops in Dallas and Denver. He signed with Charlotte and after going to Portland unexpectedly found some playing time as their bigs went down with injuries. Howard is now with the Heat, watching the show there and giving them a few minutes at power forward and center.
There were times when Howard was considered to be a star, he did play in the 1996 All-Star game where he scored 2 points, but he will be mainly remembered for his huge contract and his college games.