The Atlanta Hawks are trading center Dwight Howard and the 31st pick to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in Thursday's draft, two people with knowledge of the trade confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade wasn't announced publicly.
The 31-year-old Howard signed a three-year, $70.5 million deal with the Hawks in free agency last summer, then averaged 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game during the regular season. But after he struggled in the postseason, averaging eight points, 10.7 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 26.2 minutes in six games against the Washington Wizards in the first round, the Hawks’ change in front office leadership spelled the beginning of the end of Howard’s time in Atlanta.
Travis Schlenk, the former Golden State Warriors assistant general manager who took over as Hawks general manager in late May, made it a priority to clear Howard’s salary (two more seasons worth a combined $47.3 million) off Atlanta’s books. Howard will reunite in Charlotte with Steve Clifford, the Hornets head coach with whom he worked so well during their time in Orlando (when Clifford was an assistant coach).
The trade is Schlenk's first move in his new role.
The trade was first reported by ESPN's "The Undefeated".