Dwight Howard will be playing for his third team in three seasons after the Atlanta Hawks decided to trade him to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday. The trade reunites the former All-NBA and All-Star center with Steve Clifford, who served as an assistant coach during Howard’s tenure with the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Trade:

Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical on Yahoo Sports reported that the Atlanta Hawks decided to part ways with Howard after one season with the team. The Hawks are sending Howard and the 31st pick in this year’s draft to the Hornets. In return, Atlanta will receive Marco Belinelli, Miles Plumlee and the 41st pick in Thursday’s draft.

What does the deal mean?

The Hawks’ decision to trade Howard isn’t surprising at all since the center proved to be a bad fit with the team. In the first round playoff series against the Wizards, Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer opted to sit Howard on the bench in favor of a better floor-stretcher in Ersan Ilyasova because of match-up problems.

According to reports, Howard expressed his displeasure for not getting his usual playing time and even hinted of forcing his way out of Atlanta if the situation doesn’t improve. Several weeks later, Howard appeared on ESPN show ‘The Jump’ where he disclosed his intention of expanding his game by shooting more threes next season.

Unfortunately for Howard, the Hawks front office eventually realized that he’s just not the ideal player in Budenholzer’s system. On the other hand, the quality of assets (journeyman Belinelli, injured Plumlee and 41st pick) the Hawks acquired by trading Howard only showed the big man’s trade value has significantly plummeted this summer.

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Deal Breakdown:

For the Hornets: Howard is a good fit and will immediately fill a gaping hole at the center position. The former three-time Defensive Player of the Year averaged 12.5 points,13.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

These numbers are by far the lowest in Howard’s career since his rookie year, but that won’t stop the Hornets from taking a gamble on the former All-Star center. After all, the Hornets are in dire need of someone who can control boards and anchor their defense after finishing 16th in rebounds per game (43.6 rpg) and 13th in points allowed per game (104.7 points).

For the Hawks: the trade only means the start of rebuilding mode for the Hawks more than a salary dump. The Hawks have been a consistent playoff team in the East for over a decade but only reached the Conference Finals once in 2015.

With Howard now out, it becomes more likely the Hawks will let unrestricted free agent Paul Millsap walk away.

There’s no point for Millsap to stay for a team which will likely finish in the cellar of the standings next season, even though staying means longer and more lucrative contract.