Hawks Trade Dwight Howard To Hornets

10:50pm: The trade is official, with the Hornets issuing a press release to formally announce it.

“We are excited to add a player of Dwight’s stature to our roster,” Hornets GM Rich Cho said in a statement. “He has been a very talented player, an elite rebounder and rim protector as well as a physical presence since the moment he entered the league. Howard’s best seasons came alongside Coach Steve Clifford and we believe their familiarity will make an immediate impact for the Hornets this upcoming season.”

8:04pm: The Hawks have agreed to a trade that will send Dwight Howard to the Hornets, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link), Charlotte will receive Howard and the No. 31 pick in this year’s draft from Atlanta in exchange for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the No. 41 pick.NBA: Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks

For Howard, who was a perennial All-NBA center earlier in his career, the Hornets will be his fifth team in the last seven years. Having left the Rockets for his hometown Hawks a year ago in free agency, Howard got off to a solid start in Atlanta, but by season’s end, he was frustrated with his diminishing role. For the season, Howard averaged 13.5 PPG and 12.7 RPG in 74 contests (all starts).

Howard’s move to Charlotte will set him up for a reunion with Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. Howard’s most successful and productive NBA seasons came when he was being coached by Clifford — the former assistant coach was on Orlando’s staff from 2007 to 2012, then joined the Lakers during Howard’s lone season in L.A.

Howard is set to earn guaranteed salaries of $23.5MM (2017/18) and $23.82MM (2018/19) over the next two seasons, so once again, the Hornets are showing a willingness to take on significant money. The team did that at the deadline, sending a pair of smaller expiring deals to Milwaukee in exchange for Plumlee.

Now, the Hornets will flip Plumlee and his $12.5MM annual salary, which looks relatively modest compared to Howard’s cap figure. Plumlee’s contract runs through the 2019/20 season, while Belinelli has one year left at $6.61MM. Although Charlotte adds a little money to its books, the team’s flexibility for this summer won’t be affected — the Hornets would have been an over-the-cap team either way.

As for the Hawks, Travis Schlenk‘s first major move as Atlanta’s general manager will see the team swap Howard for Plumlee, move down 10 spots in the second round, and add a three-point sharpshooter in Belinelli. The move will create a small amount of extra spending flexibility for the Hawks this summer, though it remains to be seen whether they’ll make a strong effort to re-sign their own free agents like Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr., or if they’ll use that room for other moves.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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49 thoughts on “Hawks Trade Dwight Howard To Hornets

  1. formerlyz

    There has to be more to this deal going back to Atlanta, especially if they’re taking plumlee. Great deal for charlotte so far though. They needed a big like Dwight for a while. Now they need another wing shooter and a backup guard. They’re in position to address that in the draft. Should be interesting to see what else they do

  2. Salary dump? I feel like that is nothing for Howard. Come up for the hornets.

    • bsteady7

      Right! And they moved up 10 spots in the draft? I was waiting for ATL to receive the 12th pick or something like that. I don’t know what pick they have. Point is that’s the value I was expecting back. Wow

      • KCelts

        Not really. He was insane on those Orlando teams back when they were really good. He just never was the same after the deal to LA.

        • gmflores27

          Dimitri is right though; his character is poor and was made evident from his clashes with Coach Van Gundy

        • Dretorade

          you mean when Kobe told him to man up and he crumbled? Dwight thinks he’s a low post scorer but only has 2 moves haha

          • KnicksCavsFan

            In addition to those 2 post moves, Howard sports a nippy 63% FG line which is 4th in the NBA. What do people want from the guy? You complain that he’s limited yet he’s historically proven that when you dump the ball into him more often than not he’s going to get you 2 points. Unfortunately, he’s still a horrible shooter but that’s an epidemic it seems among most bigs.

  3. Matt Galvin

    Could of Trade him back to Magic and got their 2 Centers but good deal.

  4. formerlyz

    Honestly, the new gym has been in Atlanta for what, a week? Arguably already should get fired for this deal. It’s not even like they open money either. They took on an extra year of an injury prone plumlee and gave up the higher draft pick, and the best player in the deal…..only way this makes sense is if plumlee all of the sudden becomes a legit 5, and even then, they should have got something else

    • The long term cap space had to be a factor here. Atlanta saves roughly $5 million this year and $10 million next year. Questionable trade value wise, but Howard’s deal was probably close to untradeable. An overpaid, declining center who is a well known diva? If Atlanta is rebuilding, which wouldn’t be a bad idea, getting rid of Howard is a good move.

      • KnicksCavsFan

        I think Howard is much maligned. I don’t want to hear about his personality. There a tons of a-holes in the NBA. Howard ranks top 5 in almost shooting efficiency and defensive rating stat. He can only shoot the ball and if you look at his numbers, historically, he’s had 3-5 teammates that have taken more FG attempts per game than he has. He can shoot the ball if it’s not passed to him.

  5. knoxchristopher79

    Because the hawks are blowing it up.. it’s the start of starting over

  6. Knicks Fan

    Lopez and Howard moved on same day after rumors of them being traded for each other 5 years ago

  7. Compton

    Great move for both teams. Atlanta got rid of a headache and Charlotte got a guy who has played for Clifford on 2 separate teams (LA,Orlando). Charlotte is taking all the risk by bringing Howard in.

    • Agreed. A somewhat added benefit for Charlotte is that they could use a decent post-scoring option to pair with Walker and Batum.

    • gmflores27

      Howard will likely turn into a non factor for the Hornets. Clear upgrade from Plumlee and they move up in the 2nd round but they screwed up their cap situation even more and gave up Bellinelli who can be a solid rotation player on the wing

  8. Braves Homer

    Wow, love Mike Bud as a coach but he and Wilcox just set the Hawks back several years more not trading Horford, now not trading Milsap and then signing and trading Howard. Milsap waking next for sure…

    • gmflores27

      Ownership seemed to force the Howard signing plus Travis Schlenk is the GM now

  9. Luckylefty2

    The reason why I believe the hornets should have picked Drummond instead of MKG in the 2012 draft.

  10. Pihc123

    He use to be an asset. An all star with elite D. Failed miserably in LA, Houston and last year in Atlanta. He’s better than Plumlee but he’s a mess that can take away from a team quicker than you can say Bobcats.

  11. gmflores27

    Good for ATL and makes sense as their GM came from GSW who didn’t need a good center at all

    • knoxchristopher79

      He’s too old to be “working” on a shot now. Sorry charlotte fans

  12. Dionis

    Dwight supposedly is trying to add a shot to his game. Look at the bright side Dwight at least brings better rim protection then Zeller and Kaminsky. He’s a solid third option behind Walker and Batum.

    • gmflores27

      LOL!!!! He is barely a starting option but being the third option shows how bad Charlotte will be next year

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