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The Curious Case Of Dwight Howard

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June 20th should be named "national trade Dwight Howard day." For it was on this exact day, one year ago, that the Atlanta Hawks traded Howard to the Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick in the 2017 Draft.

Obviously, this Dwight Howard/Hornets experiment failed, and Charlotte sent the Center packing for Timofey Mozgov and a few future second-round draft picks. That's right, the former Defensive Player of The Year, 8x All-Star, and 8x All-NBA Player is worth no more to Hornets than an overpriced, bench-level big man and some second rounders.

These days, the career of Dwight Howard has taken a sad and drastic turn, as his talents are being passed around like a game of hot-potato.

But with this unfortunate realization, comes one very curious question: what happened? After all, Howard isn't playing bad by any means, averaging 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game for Charlotte last season. Yet, for Howard, it's not the numbers that are the problem... it's everything else.

Last year when he was traded by the Hawks, this is what Zach Lowe of ESPN’s reported on The Lowe Post Podcast:

I don’t know what it is. No one has kind of gotten to the bottom of why. It can’t just be the corny jokes – and my god, does he tell the corniest jokes – but I’ve heard multiple stories of Hawks players learning about the trade and screaming with jubilation into their phones.

This year, while the reaction wasn't quite as dramatic, there was still quite a bit of relief when Howard departed from Charlotte.

The weird and unique story of this fallen star is one of the most intriguing in the NBA right now. His game is sound, but something about his attitude, his relationship with teammates, and overall personality on the court is just not ideal in building a positive environment in the locker room.

Nonetheless, we'll see what happens with Dwight Howard going forward. As he begins this new chapter, perhaps he can prove that he can still be valuable in a league that has forsaken the big man game.