Multiple-time NBA all-star Dwight Howard has been shipped out of his hometown team and to a division rival. The Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets complete a huge deal with several short-term and long-term implications.
As NBA trade chatter continue to take over the sports world, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets did what they could to be relevant. Moving Dwight Howard was an unforeseen move that was hidden in a set of cryptic tweets released by both teams on Tuesday.
According to Bleacher Report, the Hawks and Hornets started with a clever set of tweets which went viral moments after they were sent. Their Twitter posts became instant topics of discussion, with the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers also getting involved in the fun.
Things turned serious as the Hawks and Hornets went from trolling the NBA trade rumors just hours ago to actually completing a trade with each other. According to ESPN, the Hawks and Hornets have put the finishing touches on a trade involving three players and two draft picks from this year’s NBA draft. Perhaps the jokes the Hawks and Hornets were putting together were a smokescreen the entire time.
The deal calls for the Atlanta Hawks to send Dwight Howard and the No. 31 pick to the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets agreed to ship out Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the No. 41 pick.
— theScore (@theScore) June 21, 2017
For Dwight Howard, the Charlotte Hornets will be his third team in successive seasons. The 31-year-old Howard signed a three-year deal (courtesy of Sports Illustrated) worth $70.5 million with the Atlanta Hawks last summer.
Howard is from Atlanta, so playing for the Hawks gave him a chance to be in front of his hometown crowd. It came to an end for Howard after just one season.
Since the offseason, Dwight Howard has been fine-tuning his game. According to SB Nation, Howard even started working on a three-point shot which could extend his career considerably. With the way the NBA has evolved, where centers and forwards are becoming outside scoring threats, Howard extending his range would be a welcomed sight.
Going to the Charlotte Hornets may revive Dwight Howard’s basketball career. He gives the Hornets a viable option in the pick-and-roll offense. Rolling to the basket has always been a specialty of Howard’s who gets to the post with ease on most nights. It does not always translate to points, but it opens up opportunities to create space for outside shooter.
If Howard is successful in developing his jump shot, even if it is not to the three-point line, teams defending the Hornets will have to play honest.
As for the Atlanta Hawks, it is difficult to gauge whether the Dwight Howard trade was a salary dump or not. Miles Plumlee has some ability to stretch the floor on occasion and Marco Belinelli can score in the right situations. Who wins the Dwight Howard trade remains to be seen.
[Featured Image by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images]