Hawks trade Dwight Howard to Hornets for Marco Belinelli, Miles Plumlee

Atlanta Hawks centre Dwight Howard. (Curtis Compton/AP)

The Atlanta Hawks traded centre Dwight Howard and the 31st-overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for centre Miles Plumlee, SG/SF Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in the draft.

Howard, a native of Atlanta, signed a three-year, $70.5-million contract with the Hawks in July 2016 following his three-year stint with the Houston Rockets.

“We are excited to add a player of Dwight’s stature to our roster,” Hornets GM Rich Cho said in a press release. “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 (in Orlando) and we believe their familiarity will make an immediate impact for the Hornets this upcoming season.”

In 2016-17, Howard averaged 13.5 points per game–his lowest total since his rookie season–plus 12.7 rebounds per game and a career low 1.2 blocks per game in 74 regular-season contests.

“I’m excited about working with Dwight again,” Clifford said. “He brings a defensive mindset, shot blocking ability and a level of physicality that will be a huge asset for us. We look forward to him continuing his career here in Charlotte.”

The 31-year-old happened to be asking fans on Twitter their thoughts on the various trade reports from around the league as the news broke of his own trade.

Belinelli and Plumlee averaged 24 and 13.4 minutes per game, respectively, in supporting roles with Charlotte this past season.

“It is extremely important for our organization that we maintain our flexibility and this trade helps us achieve that critical goal,” hawks GM Travis Schlenk said in his team’s press release. “We appreciate the contributions that Dwight made on the court and in the greater Atlanta community this past season.”

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