Atlanta Hawks To Trade Dwight Howard To Charlotte Hornets

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

"I hope we can, it's not only me", Clifford said. "He understands that I know him".

"I hate to hear all the negative calls talking about my brother and the things that have been going on with the Hawks". "But he has to get back to the player he was".

The Hawks will receive Miles Plumlee and Marco Belinelli in the deal.

This deal has already received league approval, so the picks and players have been officially exchanged.

Howard is the biggest acquisition since Michael Jordan became the team's majority owner in 2010.

If Atlanta was so desperate to be rid of Howard, the Hawks probably would have been better off telling him not to report next season and wait out his contract rather than make this trade. The trade comes days after a recent interview in which Schlenk said all-star forward Paul Millsap will likely get bigger offers from other teams - meaning Atlanta will not be offering a max contract, and all but ensuring his departure. Last season, the Hornets were excellent with Zeller on the court (+5.4 net rating) and awful without him (-3.6), and deploying Zeller as a starting stretch five was a reliable victor.

In contrast to Howard's offensive issues, he remains a useful player because of his strong paint defense and rebounding. Charlotte will be Howard's fifth team after spending his first 13 seasons with Orlando (eight), the Los Angeles Lakers (one), Houston (three) and Atlanta (one). They inquired at the trade deadline past year as well. "Dwight can go a long way toward changing that back to the way it was". Belinelli will be joining his eighth team.

But it's never quite that simple with Howard, whose career has been totally derailed over the last half-decade.

However, the 31-year-old Howard carries baggage that can not be cast off easily. Howard had a diminished role in the playoffs and was unhappy with his playing time. "This isn't a guy who is hard to deal with". The image of a fun-loving, media-friendly superstar gave way to that of an unserious and laughable doofus.

Howard has averaged 17.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game in his 12-year career. He recently swore to improve his game by adding a 3-point shot; a wise idea for a once-dominant post player in a changing National Basketball Association.

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