Dwight Howard is being moved once again. The former All-NBA big man will be traded from the Hornets to the lowly Nets in exchange for Timofey Mozgov and two second-round picks, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports on Wednesday, the eve of the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Nets create a ton of future cap space with this move. Howard's contract will expire at the end of the 2018-19 season and it will allow Brooklyn to be active in free agency in the future. The Nets have been in a long rebuild, but they've never been afraid to throw money around.
According to SportsLine Data Scientist Stephen Oh, the Hornets are slightly worse following this trade, while the Nets get slightly better. In the end, the trade doesn't impact either team's projected finish in the Eastern Conference.
This is the second time Howard has been traded in two years. The Hawks traded Howard to the Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and a draft pick a year to this exact date. It continues a fall from grace for Howard from the MVP candidate type player he once was to nothing more than just a solid big man -- one that Charlotte wanted nothing to do with after a year.
This deal appears to have more to do with the Hornets future than Howard as a person or player. He isn't going to bring them to them to the playoffs anytime soon and with this move, Charlotte has a better chance of avoiding the luxury tax. This roster can't make the playoffs and new GM Mitch Kupchak knows that. It wouldn't be surprising to see Charlotte make more moves as the offseason continues.