For the fourth time in four years, Dwight Howard will have a new team.
The Charlotte Hornets traded the three-time Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday to the Brooklyn Nets. In exchange, the Hornets will get center Timothy Mozgov, two future second-round picks and cash consideration.
Howard is an 8-time All-Star, but hasn’t made the team since the 2014 season. After getting back surgery in 2012, he hasn’t been that dominating presence he was during the early part of his career when he was one of the game’s superstars. Although he’s still averaging a double-double, he’s not the same explosive player since the surgery and has hampered the teams he was on with his monstrous contract.
With one-year remaining on the deal he signed with Atlanta in 2016 for $70.5 million, he’s due close to $24 million dollars next season.
Although Mozgov has two-years left on his contract and is due $32.7 million of the $64 million contract he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, it still gives the Hornets some flexibility. The extra cap room would help the Hornets gain a player or two to hopefully improve on their 36-46 record and perhaps reach the playoffs in the mediocre Eastern Conference.
Howard, on the other hand, goes to a team looking to climb out of the cellar.
The Nets hope that by teaming up Howard with D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin, they’ll be able to build off their 28-54 campaign from last season. Although the team is still in rebuilding mode, an improving record would help to build up the morale on a team that has seen a revolving door of players come and go. At the very least, the team would have to suffer through another sub-par season, but would have much more room under the salary cap at the end of the year to make free agent moves.
Prior to the Hornets, Howard played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks.