The Hawks led 73-67 when Howard checked out for the last time with 3:38 to play in the third quarter. The Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets complete a huge deal with several short-term and long-term implications.
NBC Charlotte has reached out to the Hornets for confirmation.
It all started when the Hawks tweeted that fans think they should go after everyone this offseason. Their Twitter posts became instant topics of discussion, with the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers also getting involved in the fun. And it was just the other day - yesterday, to be precise - that these fingers typed a little something about the Hawks' need to take a backward step in the effort to move forward. For Charlotte, the move solidifies a somewhat revolving door at center and could change their focus to the backcourt with the 11th pick in Thursday's draft. That's why he was given away by the Hawks on Tuesday, and that's why the Hornets were, seemingly, the only team interested in acquiring him. James is still the best player in the world now, while Howard, who is the same age, was dealt for a second-round pick, a role player, and the second-best Plumlee on a bloated contract.
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On the eve of the National Basketball Association draft, the Charlotte Hornets have just pulled off what I think is a heck of a deal to get Dwight Howard. But after just one season with the team, the Hawks are cutting their losses and looking to rebuild. Knee injuries scuttled Hibbert's season, and he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a package for Plumlee. In the meantime, let's give a polite golf clap to Hornets GM Rich Cho for the draft pick swap, which amounts to a cherry on top.
Enter Howard, who is older, more experienced, and more physical than Zeller while earning almost twice as much as his new teammate. It does not always translate to points, but it opens up opportunities to create space for outside shooter. Initially, Howard fit that plan perfectly, serving as a fallback option when Al Horford bolted for Boston and helping Atlanta reach the playoffs for the 10 straight season. Miles Plumlee has some ability to stretch the floor on occasion and Marco Belinelli can score in the right situations.
Howard didn't see it coming.
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