Hawks Basically Pay the Hornets to Take Dwight Howard Off Their Hands

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Dwight Howard officially wore out his welcome with a fourth team in six years.

On Tuesday, the Atlanta Hawks agreed to trade Howard and the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft for peanuts: the terrible contract of Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st overall pick.

Plumlee, a center, is set to make just over $37 million total over the next three seasons. Wing shooter Belinelli has one year and $6.6 million remaining on his deal. Essentially, the Hawks weakened a draft pick by 10 slots, took on a bad contract, and absorbed an expiring one just to get rid of the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Howard signed a three-year, $70.5 million contract with the Hawks ahead of the 2016-17 campaign. While early returns suggested he’d finally found a basketball home in his hometown, the relationship between team and center had gravely soured by the end of the season, with Howard proclaiming he was “pissed” about his playing time in the playoffs.

His relationship wth his new teammates likely won’t start on the right foot either—in November, Howard elbowed Hornets center Cody Zeller in the face for repeatedly dunking on him.

Before the Hawks, Howard played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, and Houston Rockets. Each tenure ended poorly.