The Atlanta Hawks traded Dwight Howard and the number 31 pick to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the number 41 pick. The Dwight Howard signing didn’t look good before last season and it didn’t look any better after the season. Howard never seemed a fit for their offense and his signing contributed to the loss of Al Horford in free agency and Horford was a much better fit. Howard finished the year with a 13.5 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 1.2 BPG stat line while logging just under 30 minutes per game.
I like Dwight Howard and he deserves tons of praise for a great career. But if you don’t have a team of shooters around him, his offense which consists of playing around the rim is very limiting. He’s still a very efficient scorer shooting 63% from the field but he works better with a spread offense. A movement oriented offense needing a big that can shoot is not his thing. Howard is only 31 and I hope he can find success in Charlotte.
I hope Plumlee can give Atlanta something, anything. He is making $12M per year but his stats are not anywhere near what you’d expect for someone making that much money – 2.5 PPG, 2.1 RPG in 10 minutes per game last year. Belinelli is a shooting guard who should at least be a nice bench asset. He can shoot the three and give you ten points per game. He has one year left on his $6M deal.
What’s next: How hard will the Hawks pursue free agents Paul Milsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. this offseason? Where do they see the team moving forward? Dennis Shroder is the PG and face of the franchise if those two aren’t re-signed but there won’t be much else left around him. I’d hate to see Atlanta starting over but that may well be what they are doing.