Hawks ship Dwight Howard to Charlotte
Published on Wednesday, 6/21/17, at 12:03 a.m. Eastern.
Travis Schlenk’s first move as the new General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks was to clean up the mess created by a homecoming that never should have happened.
Schlenk dealt Dwight Howard, along with the two years and more than $47 million left on his contract, and the No. 31 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft on Tuesday night. Marc Spears of The Undefeated was the first to report the story.
The Hornets sent Atlanta the No. 41 selection, Mason Plumlee and Marco Bellineli. Yes, the Hawks basically got nothing in return, but now they have the cap space to build around Paul Millsap.
The All-Star forward out of La. Tech is an unrestricted free agent, so his return isn’t a layup by any means. Millsap has expressed a strong interest in coming back, however, and Atlanta can pay him more money than anyone else.
Nearly a year ago, Atlanta inexplicably decided to sign Howard before figuring out franchise stalwart Al Horford’s intentions. Although the Hawks still offered Horford more cash than he took to join the Boston Celtics, he elected to move on in part because of his uncertainty about playing with Howard.
Howard will be playing for his third team in three years. In his one campaign in Atlanta, he averaged 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. The 31-year-old center is an 8-time All-Star, but he saw his playing time significantly reduced in the postseason. At that point, it was clear Howard’s wouldn’t be long for The ATL.