Washington Wizards big man Dwight Howard has picked up his player option for 2019-20, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reports. Howard played in just nine games this season.
Howard signed a two-year, $11 million contract last summer with an option of $5.6 million in the second year. After struggling with injuries all year, the 33-year-old locks in a deal that he may not get on the open market.
After suiting up for his last game of the year on November 18th, Howard underwent spinal surgery to repair herniated discs in his spine. The recovery process was pegged as a two-to-three month process but there was little incentive for the franchise to risk his long-term health in a lost season.
In March, Howard was said to be dealing with a hamstring issue.
Howard’s cap hit will push the Wizards ever closer to the luxury tax in 2019-20 but their financial situation isn’t nearly as dire now as it was prior to their series of cost-cutting deals during the season.