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Breaking: Atlanta Hawks trade Dwight Howard to Charlotte Hornets

The afternoon of June 20th saw the Los Angeles Lakers trade D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Just two hours later, another blockbuster announced via Marc Spears of The Undefeated. In what was the second major trade of the day, the Atlanta Hawks have agreed to trade center Dwight Howard along with the 31st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Charlotte Hornets.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets will be sending over center Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick in this year’s draft.

Howard averaged 13.4 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game in 74 appearances with the Hawks. Howard returned to his hometown of Atlanta to join the Hawks on a three-year, $70.5 million deal. Belinelli averaged 10.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 36% from beyond the arc.

The move appears to be a salary dump to create salary cap space in what could be a big summer in free agency.