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Hornets acquire Dwight Howard in trade with Hawks

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The Hornets sent Plumlee and Belinelli to Atlanta for Dwight Howard. This is not a drill.

Dwight Howard Hosts: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for D12 Foundation

The Charlotte Hornets have agreed to trade Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Atlanta Hawks for Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in the draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

This deal reunites Howard with Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, whom was an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic when Howard was there. Howard’s deal expires in the summer of 2019, so he’ll be here for a short while.

I mean, wow. I’m speechless.

Truly, I’m having trouble processing this deal. If my eyes and brain do not fail me it would appear the Hornets sent some scraps and a pick to the Hawks for a star and a better pick.

While Howard is 31 years old and not the player he was a decade ago, he’s still quite good and if things go south, the Hornets can just let him walk in 2019.

There were concerns the Hornets had stagnated after they slipped out of the playoffs this season, and general manager Rich Cho conceded that some changes needed to be made this summer. Acquiring Howard should anchor the Hornets’ defense and allow Clifford to work some of his Magic stuff.

There’s basically no downside to this trade. The Hornets lost Marco Belinelli—a decent but meh player—and Miles Plumlee, Cho’s mistake of a trade from last season. Which I guess now isn’t a mistake and was a means to an end. I think this means the Hornets’ front office is good at what they do.

The Hornets still have the 11th overall pick in Thursday’s draft in addition to the 31st overall pick they acquired from the Hawks. They’ve already added a major piece and should get some good depth with their two picks.

Next season could be a good one for the Hornets.

UPDATE

Apparently Dwight did not see this coming at all. Poor dude. But welcome!