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  #1  
Old 10-08-05, 10:20 PM
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Spurs passed on him during draft, now big things await him

Signs point to banner year for Mavs' Howard

Higher expectations, riches await patient third-year forward

05:23 PM CDT on Friday, October 7, 2005

By EDDIE SEFKO / The Dallas Morning News

Josh Howard has seen himself around town a lot lately. It's hard not to notice the giant billboards along the freeways with Howard going up for a dunk.

Not bad for a guy who will be making less than everybody on the team this season other than two undrafted rookies. There's even three or four guys on the Mavericks' payroll who won't be on the team and will make more than Howard's $873,880.

Howard's day will come financially. A sign of how much the Mavericks think of him is that they exercised their option year on his rookie contract the day after last season ended, nearly six months before they were required to make a decision.

That assures Howard will earn $1.577 million next season and clears the way for the Mavericks to sign him long term beyond that.

And if their feelings for Howard were still in doubt, the billboards are a dead giveaway.

But regardless of accolades or his rosy financial future, Howard's attitude remains well-grounded.

"I'm having a good time right now," he said. "I'm a young black man. I have no kids. My family's great. They're well off. I have no problems. What I'm making now is fine. It gets me by."

If Howard improves as many expect him to this season and next, he'll have plenty more to get him by.

Coach Avery Johnson expects to lean on Howard between 35 and 40 minutes per game this season. Last year, Howard's production went up in virtually every category over his rookie year – significantly in many instances.

His showing in the playoffs –15.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 50.3 percent shooting – is one of the reasons Johnson wants Howard to be one of the Mavericks' heavy lifters this season.

"We want a steady rise," Johnson said of the 6-7 Wake Forest product. "We want him to be consistent. Some nights [last season], we didn't know what we were getting – at home and on the road."

Defense, ball-handling and passing will continue to be the issues for Howard. But that goes for virtually everybody on the team in Johnson's system. Howard will be matched up against the best opposing scorer often, although Doug Christie's arrival could alleviate that in some cases.

Howard realizes he can't be the quiet kid who came in humble and hungry in 2003. He showed his rookie season that a lot of teams misfired by not taking him before the Mavericks made him the last pick of the first round.

And now, he's on billboards.

"I had no idea," Howard said of the citywide publicity. "It's a blessing. For them to think that much of me to put me on a billboard, it's a dream come true."

Johnson has a saying that he likes to quote whenever somebody gets a big new contract, such as Erick Dampier's in 2004: To whom much is given, much is expected.

"I'm not in that category yet, but that's cool," Howard said.

Actually, he is in that category. He just isn't getting the financial payoff yet. But he will when he gets a new deal from the Mavericks – or somebody else – in 2007.

http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/gold_print.cgi
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  #2  
Old 10-08-05, 11:40 PM
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I don't think the spurs passed on him. I believe they were going to pick him, but Dallas chose him like a couple picks before.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-05, 11:52 PM
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I don't think the Spurs really care about him.
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Old 10-08-05, 11:54 PM
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He's not international
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  #5  
Old 10-09-05, 12:15 AM
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spurs picked right before he was chosen I believe.

I remember thinking we could have gotten him, but then the spurs didn't. I forgot what we did that year. Maybe it was the barbosa trade year
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Old 10-09-05, 12:28 AM
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correct, it was the barbosa trade.
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Old 10-09-05, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAfan019
I don't think the Spurs really care about him.
Care to elaborate?
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  #8  
Old 10-09-05, 01:30 AM
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Yes, I remember I read somewhere that Tim told Pop how regretful it was to miss out on Howard when we see him nowadays. He is from Wake Forest too. The same college goes a long way, even though they haven't met in college. I think Tim was jokingly mentioning about Howard and how good he is ...something like that...to Pop.

But they traded that pick to another team (Suns, I think) and used the next year Suns's pick to pick up Beno. And the article said something like " although Team would have liked to pick up Howard, Tim knows that trade eventually allowed the oppotunity to pick up Beno who is a very good find and important to our club too..." Something like that.

Last edited by manu 008; 10-09-05 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 10-09-05, 01:58 AM
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the reason they traded away that pick was because of the free agency that summer, they wanted to have enough room under the cap to pursue kidd. IF it wasnt for kidd, howard would have been in a silver n black jersey.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-05, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubross
the reason they traded away that pick was because of the free agency that summer, they wanted to have enough room under the cap to pursue kidd. IF it wasnt for kidd, howard would have been in a silver n black jersey.
Thats the way I remembered it. Howard would have been excellent as a long term replacement for Bruce. As he is right now, he's not far behind Tayshaun Prince, not far at all.
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Old 10-09-05, 03:45 AM
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You know I thought the first few years, the contract money is not really expensive. Was the trade really necessary then?
Then Tim shouldn't complain at all as he was the one who wanted Kidd. All that for nothing.
Kidd really almost ruined us. I thought Howard was really good. I love his intensity and defense and atheletic plays. Tim would have really loved having his college junior.
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Old 10-09-05, 10:19 AM
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passing on Howard = Championships!
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Old 10-09-05, 11:01 AM
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You win some you lose some. I don't think anyone on the Spurs front office is losing any sleep over passing on Howard. Also, in a perfect world he would have complimented Bowen's defense, but then again, he may have found himself at the end of the bench. It would have been a dogfight between him and Brown. I personally feel Brown would've still come out on top, because of his offensive game.
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Old 10-09-05, 11:06 AM
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who gives a rats rear about josh howard.......we have the trophy and he is just another chump chasin a dream on a dead end highway up in Dallas.
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Old 10-09-05, 11:23 AM
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Howard is a VERY GOOD player. But he wouldn't work as well for the Spurs. He's my favorite Mav player, and I go to games all the time. He works well with the Mavs.

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Old 10-09-05, 11:38 AM
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There are so many type of bodies like Howard that come into the NBA and never do anything.

Its so hard to tell players apart.

One thing the Spurs do is find so many great players with so many high picks.

And Howard is not even as good as as everyone makes him out to be......I think there is a little hype behind and need to show me more this year.
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Old 10-09-05, 12:09 PM
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I think Howard would make a great replacement for Bruce since they are both outstanding defensive players, but it's hard to say if he would have developed as quickly in SA as he did in Dallas. Last season he got the same minutes as Bruce, and I don't think he would have taken many of Bruce's minutes over the last couple of years if the Spurs had drafted him.

I think it's also worth keeping in mind that if the Spurs had used that pick on Howard, they may not have been able to get Nazr here since it was the first-round draft picks that sweetened the deal enough that the Knicks would go for it.

And, it seems less likely that Finley would have signed on if we were already loaded at the SF spot.

As for how that position will be covered over the long term, I have confidence in the Spurs front office to find the player they need when the time comes either through the draft, trade, or free agency.
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Last edited by babalanja; 10-09-05 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 10-09-05, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberly
Yes, I remember I read somewhere that Tim told Pop how regretful it was to miss out on Howard when we see him nowadays. He is from Wake Forest too. The same college goes a long way, even though they haven't met in college. I think Tim was jokingly mentioning about Howard and how good he is ...something like that...to Pop.

But they traded that pick to another team (Suns, I think) and used the next year Suns's pick to pick up Beno. And the article said something like " although Team would have liked to pick up Howard, Tim knows that trade eventually allowed the oppotunity to pick up Beno who is a very good find and important to our club too..." Something like that.
The spurs used their own pick on beno. Phoenix pick was traded to New York in the Malik trade. I'd say good trade. It helped win a championship last year. Also the spurs traded a first rounder for Speedy Claxton before that. Another trade that helped win a championship in 03'
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Old 10-09-05, 06:43 PM
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who cares about Howard. the spurs can't draft everyone
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  #20  
Old 10-10-05, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnwhuxley
Thats the way I remembered it. Howard would have been excellent as a long term replacement for Bruce. As he is right now, he's not far behind Tayshaun Prince, not far at all.
I certainly wouldn't mind having Howard or Prince as Bruce's long term replacement.
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  #21  
Old 10-10-05, 08:19 AM
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This is what passes for criticism of the Spurs FO these days...

I'm pretty happy where the Spurs are these day...that's just me, though.
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