Yesterday, Dwight Howard along with the 31st pick in the draft were traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick.
Dwight Howard has aged pretty noticeably the past few years, as his main calling card was his athleticism. Though he may not be the same player he was with the Magic, he can still be a valuable defensive player starting at center. He averaged about 14 points to go along with 13 rebounds and over a block per game. That’s not going to jump out at you as a great player, but they are still solid numbers for an average starting center. Personally, I think Charlotte is a better fit for him anyway, so his numbers may improve with Hornets.
Dwight was traded for Miles Plumlee and Marco Belinelli. As a Kings fan, I know that Marco Belinelli is nothing more than a shooter off the bench. His six million dollar contract does expire following next season however, so it isn’t too bad. Miles Plumlee on the other hand just concluded his first year of a four year, 50 million dollar contract. Dwight Howard, who has one less year remaining on his deal, is also only making about 11 million dollars more per year of his contract. When you add Marco Belinelli into the deal, Howard is making under 5 million more. You can’t even consider this a salary dump for this reason. Even Dwight Howard haters have to admit that he is ten times better than what the Hawks got in return. Plumlee only averaged two points and two rebounds per game last year, and is making over 12 million dollars a year to do that.
Now that you see how one-sided this deal really is, you have to remember the picks involved as well. As if the Hawks didn’t already give up enough, they are also trading down in the draft! They are moving down 10 spots, trading 31 for 41. I realize this doesn’t make a huge difference, but this trade was already uneven enough.
I am a big fan of both Dwight Howard and Kemba Walker, and hope to see them do great things next year in the East. They should be one of the most entertaining teams to watch, as I hope to see Dwight return to all-star form.