Yesterday the NBA world had already been caught off guard as the Los Angeles Lakers traded former number two overall pick D'Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez. Then came the news that the Atlanta Hawks had an eight-time All-Star center and hometown kid Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets for basically nothing.

What does this trade mean for the Hawks?

The Atlanta Hawks made a big splash in the offseason signing hometown kid Dwight Howard to a three-year, $70.5 million dollar contract. Now, after only one season, they have dealt him and the 31st pick to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Marco Belinelli, Miles Plumlee and the 41st pick.

The Hawks finished last season as the fifth seed, with a 43-39 (.524%) record. They lost in the first round to the Wizards, in which Howard saw a diminished role in the playoffs, which he was unhappy about.

The trade saves the Hawks from having to pay Howard $47 million over the next two seasons. However, they now take on Plumlee's remaining three-year, $37.5 million and Belinelli's remaining $6.6 million for his final year. This move shows that the team will be rebuilding and will probably not try to resign 32-year old Paul Millsap to a max contract. Plumlee is 28 and averaged 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds last season. Belinelli is a solid role-player, who averaged 10.5 points last season.

Can this help propel the Hornets?

Ever since Al Jefferson's injury that he did not come back right from during the 2015-16 season, the Charlotte Hornets have had a gap at the center position. Last season Cody Zeller started at center, averaged 10.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks, while shooting 57.1%.

Despite Dwight Howard being diminished from what he once was, last year he averaged 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 63.3% shooting. The Hornets will be Howard's third team in the last three seasons.

The Hornets hope Howard can be a true center for them, along with providing better defense and rebounding at the rim.

Howard does have a history with Hornets coach Steve Clifford, as he was an assistant coach went Howard played for the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.

Howard is the biggest acquisition since Michael Jordan became the team's majority owner in 2010. The hope is that alongside All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and a hopefully rebounding Nicolas Batum that the Hornets can make more noise in the Eastern Conference next season.

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