1. Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard in 2022.
Rick Scuteri/AP Images
Current team: Free agent
Years within the NBA: 18
Profession stats: 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.8 blocks, 58.7% FG
Awards: 3x Defensive Player of the Yr, 8x All-Star, 8x All-NBA, 5x All-Defensive
Other accolades: 2012 Olympic gold
Basketball-Reference Hall of Fame probability: 99.7%
His case: How much weight does the Hall of Fame give to a robust portion of a profession? From 2006-2012, Howard was a top-five player within the NBA, a perennial MVP candidate, and defensive stalwart who took the Magic to the Finals in 2009.
Nonetheless, back injuries, a reluctance to adapt his game, and a fame for tarnishing locker rooms caused him to skip around over the past seven years of his profession. He was traded 4 times from 2016-2019, didn’t make an All-Star team after 2014, and nearly fell out of the league until the Lakers gave him a shot in 2019. That gamble led to a championship, as he was a priceless reserve big man, a pleasant piece of redemption.
The primary 10 years of his profession were so dominant that he likely gets into the Hall of Fame easily, but an up-and-down second half makes it more interesting than it needs to be.