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NBA: Hawks send Howard to Hornets

ATLANTA (AP) – Dwight Howard’s Atlanta homecoming was short-lived.

The Hawks sent Howard and the No. 31 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to Charlotte for center Miles Plumlee, shooting guard Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick, getting the deal completed late Tuesday night.

Howard, an eight-time All-Star and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, will be playing for his third team in three seasons following a disappointing one-year return to his Atlanta hometown.

“We are excited to add a player of Dwight’s stature to our roster,’’ Charlotte general manager Rich Cho said.

“He has been a very talented player, an elite rebounder and rim protector as well as a physical presence since the moment he entered the league. Howard’s best seasons came alongside coach Steve Clifford and we believe their familiarity will make an immediate impact for the Hornets this upcoming season.”

Clifford was an assistant with Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers during Howard’s stints with those teams.

Howard signed a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Atlanta and then sat out the fourth quarter in two of six playoff games in the Hawks’ first-round loss to Washington.

Howard’s averages with the Hawks – 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds – were close to his production in his last of three seasons with Houston in 2015-16. Still, he finished the season unhappy about his diminished role in the playoffs, when he averaged eight points and 10.7 rebounds.

Cavs owner, Billups meet
In Cleveland, a person familiar with the talks says Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert met with former NBA star Chauncey Billups about a position in Cleveland’s front office.

The meeting took place on Tuesday in Detroit, said the person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations. Gilbert is looking for a general manager after parting ways with David Griffin on Monday as the Cavs regrouped after losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals.

Gilbert has known Billups since his days with the Pistons.

A five-time All-Star, Billups does not have any front-office experience, so it’s more likely he could fill an executive role to work alongside a new GM.

Billups, who has been working as a TV analyst, is also close with Cavs coach Tyronn Lue.

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