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Hawks Sign Dwight Howard To Three-Year Deal

JULY 12TH, 6:45pm: The signing is official, the team announced via press release. “We would like to welcome Dwight, and his family, home to Atlanta and into our Hawks basketball family.  We feel Dwight will have a huge impact on both ends of the court with his physical presence and the force he brings to the game,” coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said.   “We also look forward to his impact in our community as we all look to take Atlanta to another level on the court and off.  We feel very fortunate to add a player of Dwight’s caliber and we look forward to assimilating Dwight into our team.”

JULY 1ST, 5:55pm: Howard’s three-year deal is fully guaranteed, with no option years, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Spears adds that the Hawks increased their initial offer by about $7MM.

5:40pm: The Hawks and Dwight Howard have struck a deal, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides have agreed to terms on a three-year contract. The pact will be worth $70.5MM, per Charania. It’s a homecoming for Howard, who was born and raised in Atlanta.Dwight Howard vertical

Howard, 30, met with the Hawks shortly after free agency began today, and multiple reports indicated that the team made a strong impression on him during that meeting. The former first overall pick was expected to meet with the Celtics and reportedly had interest from at least a couple other teams, but got an offer he liked from Atlanta and decided to take it.

Howard made 71 appearances for the Rockets in 2015/16, averaging 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.63 blocks in 32.1 minutes per game. He shot 62% from the field, but just 48.9% from the free-throw line.

The eight-time All-Star declined his 2016/17 player option with the Rockets last month, opting to hit the open market instead of returning to Houston. Howard would have earned more than $23MM in 2016/17 if he had picked up the option, and essentially matched that yearly figure on his new deal — of course, Howard’s agreement with the Hawks will pay him that amount annually for the next three years, rather than just for one year.

The Hawks’ agreement with Howard doesn’t necessarily take the team out of the running for Al Horford. ESPN’s Marc Stein Stein first reported on Tuesday that Atlanta would seriously consider Howard as a free agent target if the team was unable to wedge its way into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. According to Stein, the Hawks planned to go after Howard with the idea of playing him alongside Horford in their frontcourt.

Still, Horford is being heavily recruited by the Celtics and other clubs, and is expected to get a max deal, so he may land elsewhere. If Horford does leave Atlanta, Howard at least represents a viable replacement at center for the Hawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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7 thoughts on “Hawks Sign Dwight Howard To Three-Year Deal

  1. Thronson5

    Good place for him and food for for that team. Good bye Horford. I bet Horford ends up with OKC with Durant or Boston for sure now. I know everyone hates on Howard’s but I do believe he will end up being pretty good for the Hawks for the duration of this contract but not sure he has more than 3 years left in him. Think he is gonna start breaking down but they should get 2-3 good years from him. All around I like this deal for the Hawks and I’m not even a Hawks fan just a NBA fan. My team sucks so I like to see what other teams are doing and still excited over big signings lol.

  2. CaptainBrave

    Howard is a malcontent that will be a cancer for the Hawks , just like the other teams that he has played for.

  3. Z.....

    Love the deal for atlanta, with what others got. Somewhat thrown off for Dwight in terms of contract, but not a bad fit

    • Z.....

      I have to stop hitting post before I finish my thought lol….super interested to see what happens with Horford

  4. mgraub00

    I think Budenholzer will do really well with Howard. Love this signing. I don’t mind letting Horford go elsewhere when you can sign Howard without committing the fourth year. Take the deal and run with it.

  5. Ravens_Last_Place

    Wonder if Horford and Howard both get traded next year when their teams are clearly not going to the playoffs? Man, the East is so pathetically weak. But Boston and Atlanta both stink.

    • Your blind hate for Boston is amusing. I could see Atlanta possibly not making the playoffs but their team is still talented enough to sneak in. But Boston, without a doubt, has enough talent to make the playoffs barring an injury. Can you give any reason why Boston wouldn’t make the playoffs, assuming they don’t suffer multiple long-term injuries? The only reason you have is that you dislike them so much. Maybe you should be worried about the Sixers actually being relevant this year because the only time anyone has cared about them the past 3 seasons is when they were setting records for losing streaks/worst winning percentages. Using your own words, if Boston and Atlanta stink…what does that mean for the Sixers? The Sixers aren’t exactly doing anything to make the East better (and are a huge part of the reason why the “East is so pathetically weak”).

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