Best and worst NBA newcomers

Dwight Howard among best offseason additions; Josh Smith among worst

Updated: August 16, 2013, 6:58 PM ET
By Amin Elhassan | ESPN Insider

HowardBill Baptist/NBAE/Getty ImagesDwight Howard is hoping to be the missing piece for the Houston Rockets.

The dust has settled on the offseason, and rosters have more or less solidified. All the major free agents have been signed, and we are now left with news of minor, end-of-roster pickups. Similarly, most major trade talk has died down, at least until we get closer to the rookie extension deadline in October. Some teams made minor tweaks, while others underwent wholesale changes, and all over the league we'll see new faces in unfamiliar places.

Which newcomers will affect their new team's fortunes the most? Our ESPN Summer Forecast has given you an idea of what our panel deems to be the best and worst newcomers. Here is my analysis of which players stand to make the biggest impact in their new homes.

Best newcomers

Dwight Howard | Houston Rockets | Free Agency

ESPN Summer Forecast Best Newcomer Rank: 1st
Appeared on 90.5 percent of ballots, with 78.6 percent of all first-place votes.

Howard was the most coveted free agent this summer, and with good reason: When healthy, he is a defensive game-changer who you can anchor your entire team scheme around. He is an elite finisher around the rim and the best rebounder in the game.


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