Dwight Howard’s stay with his hometown team was a short one.
The Atlanta Hawks have traded the eight-time All-Star and the 31st pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick.
“We are excited to add a player of Dwight’s stature to our roster,” Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in an official statement. “He has been a very talented player, an elite rebounder and rim protector as well as a physical presence since the moment he entered the league.”
Howard signed a three-year, $70-million contract with the Hawks last summer, averaging a double-double of 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds on 63.3 percent shooting in 74 appearances.
Atlanta was reportedly in the process of working out a trade with the Brooklyn Nets, but that fell apart once Brooklyn made a reported deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.
Howard had previously worked under current Hornets head coach Steve Clifford during his time with the Orlando Magic, where Clifford served as an assistant for five years. The two were also a part of the 2012-13 Lakers, as well.
“I’m excited about working with Dwight again,” added Clifford. “He brings a defensive mindset, shot blocking ability and a level of physicality that will be a huge asset for us. We look forward to him continuing his career here in Charlotte.”
The cruel irony is that Howard was holding an impromptu Q-and-A session on his Twitter account Tuesday evening asking his followers for their thoughts on trades and the draft. The news of him being dealt broke shortly after he began.
Plumlee suited up for 13 games in a Hornets uniform after being acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert in early February. He will make $12.4 million per season every year through 2019-20.
The 31-year-old Belinelli’s contract will come off the books at the end of next season for approximately $6.6 million. He contributed 10.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 74 games coming off the bench for Charlotte, shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.