All it took was one year for the Atlanta Hawks to decide Dwight Howard needed to move on. Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reports the Hawks have traded the center to the Charlotte Hornets.
Adrian Wojnarowski quickly followed up with the following details.
Sources: Charlotte is sending Miles Plumlee, Marco Belenelli and 41st pick to Atlanta for Dwight Howard and 31st pick.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 21, 2017
After tweeting the details, Wojnarowski quickly followed up with a correction on the typo of Marco Belinelli’s name.
The eight-time All-Star had a down year in Atlanta after the Hawks signed him to a big contract before the 2016-17 season. This past season he averaged just 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game — his points and blocks well below career averages.
Clearly, Howard is in decline, which is why he’s been working on his 3-point shot to extend his career.
What’s crazy about this trade, other than the trade itself, is that Dwight Howard himself was asking Twitter about trades just five minutes before he himself was traded.
Dwight Howard asked Twitter about trades.
5 minutes later, he was traded. pic.twitter.com/OQAxUIxFV1
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 21, 2017
Given that neither Miles Plumlee or Marco Belinelli have done much in their careers aside from produce off the bench and aren’t projected to do so in the future, this move was all about Atlanta getting Howard off the books and beginning a necessary tear down of a roster that wasn’t doing anything to compete with the best in the east. Set to make over $23 million the next two years, Howard just wasn’t worth the money, or the headache of dealing with his attitude.