The Nets have agreed to acquire veteran big man Dwight Howard in a trade with the Hornets, reports ESPN. The deal sends center Timofey Mozgov, two second-round picks and cash to Charlotte for the eight-time All-Star.
The deal can’t be officially announced until the NBA moratorium is lifted July 6.
Howard, 32, remains a productive player even though he’s no longer at the prime of his career. He averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 81 games in his lone season with the Hornets, who acquired him last year in a trade with the Hawks.
The Hornets were “determined” to get rid of Howard, who’s owed $23.8 million for next season, according to ESPN. This may have been part of why that was the case:
"The (Hornets) locker room did not like Dwight Howard," @bwood_33 says on @SiriusXMNBA "Guys were just sick and tired of his act."— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 20, 2018
They’ll receive the No. 45 overall pick in this year’s draft, which is being held Thursday, along with another second-round pick in 2021.
Mozgov, 31, is owed $32.7 million over the next two years as part of a deal originally signed with the Lakers. He averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 31 games with the Nets last season.
Howard was one of the best players in the NBA at his peak. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft won three Defensive Player of the Year awards, earned all-NBA first team honors five times and led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals.
The Nets had a need for a big man who could eat minutes at center. Other players under contract for next season include D’Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin, DeMarre Carroll, Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.