The Charlotte Hornets have been an active team this offseason, signing players that have the potential to give an immediate – and much-needed – boost to this team. The trade for Dwight Howard has highlighted the offseason. Let's break that down.
Perhaps the most notable move this offseason for the Hornets, Rich Cho and company traded for Dwight Howard. Here's how the trade went down. Cho offered SG/SF Marco Bellinelli, PF/C Miles Plumlee, and the 40th Overall Draft Pick to the Atlanta Hawks, in exchange for Center Dwight Howard and the 31st Pick. This trade was one of Cho's best moves. The Hornets added a quality player in Dwight Howard while giving up a clear role player, and a backup center with a large salary.
The 2017-18 salaries of the players involved in the trade are listed below:
1. C Dwight Howard - $23.5 million
Total: $23.5 million
1. SG/SF Marco Belinelli - $6.6 million per year
2. PF/C Miles Plumlee - $12.5 million per year
Total: $19.1 million
The Hornets picked up an extra $4.4 million in salaries with this deal, due to Howard's mega contract of $23.5 million per year. The Hornets' Belinelli was a good deal contract-wise, $6.6 million per year for a decent role-player like him is not terrible. However, the bad part was Plumlee. Plumlee was a backup center for the Charlotte Hornets, not playing much, but still costing us $12.5 million per year. Compare that to what we added, a skilled starting Center for $23.5. All in all, the Hornets got a good starting center, giving up a backup guard, backup center, and ~$4 million in cap space. The skills of the players we got are even better.
In addition to the salaries, let's take a look at the skill level, and career stats, of these players. Marco Bellinelli, in his career, averaged 9.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.7 APG with a Player Efficiency Rating of 12.1. Miles Plumlee averaged 5.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 0.4 APG with a Player Efficiency Rating of 14.1. The player we got, Dwight Howard, in his entire career, averaged 17.5 PPG, 12.7 RPG, and 1.5 APG, with a Player Efficiency Rating of 21.7! Take a look at the facts. A P.E.R. of 21.7 is greater than a 12.1 and a 14.1! The Hornets picked up skill in this trade, for a small price.
The last thing about this trade is that we moved up nine spots in the draft, moving from the 40th Pick to the 31st Pick. Hey, I'm not arguing with moving up in the draft! All these pros with the players, plus we move up nine spots? Yes, please!
In conclusion, the Charlotte Hornets made a good decision with this trade, moving Plumlee's giant salary for a solid starting Center in Dwight Howard. Look forward to seeing those Kemba to Dwight connections, and a Hornets playoff run because of it!