Well, that was fast.
Dwight Howard’s Nets career is (once again) over before it begun. According to various reports on Twitter, the Nets and Howard will engage in buyout talks, which would permit him to become a free agent and the Nets to less its cap load.
Chris Haynes of ESPN was the first to report it...
Dwight Howard and Brooklyn will negotiate a buyout to enter free-agency, league sources tell ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 21, 2018
The decision to buy out Howard comes a day after word broke, also on ESPN, that the Nets had traded Timofey Mozgov, two second rounders, including the 45th pick Thursday, and cash considerations to the Hornets for Howard. That deal, which can’t be concluded until July 6, had the Nets take on Howard’s $23.8 million expiring contract in return for Mozgov’s two years at $32.7 million.
The buyout agreement apparently was mutual. Howard told ESPN “I want to be in a situation where I have an opportunity to help a team win. That’s my only goal. All I need is a real chance and a clean slate where it’s not people talking about my past.”
He added that he was surprised by the move.
“I was just really in total shock because I wasn’t expecting it to happen,” he said. “I thought this season was really good. For one, this is the healthiest I’ve been and two, my stats this season has been one of the best since I’ve been in the NBA.”
As for the Nets, they were well aware of his locker room issues which have plagued him for years. The Nets would have been his sixth team in seven years. And Brian Lewis reports that following the trade, players were talking about Howard’s personality.
At a charity event in Chinatown on Wednesday, an NBA player warned one Net, “You’re going to f–king hate playing with Dwight.” Looks like they needn’t have worried.
Now, assuming that Howard’s buyout will be standard, between 65 and 70 percent of what he’s owed, the Nets will have a cap hit of about $16 million for Howard this year ... about equal to what Mozgov’s would have been this season and neither Howard nor Mozgov will be on the books next season. Dead money for comatose money.
The prospect of buyout talks will NOT affect how much cap space the Nets will have available this evening. A league source says the Nets will now only have about $4 million to play with Thursday night, hardly enough to make any deals for draft picks.
Cap expert Albert Nahmad explains...
Nets can’t do anything that impacts their ability to take in Dwight Howard, which will be completed with cap room in July. If they time everything optimally, they’d have cap room of up to about $6M + whatever Howard gives back in his buyout – $831K with which to absorb contracts.— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) June 21, 2018
Or as Bobby Marks tweeted...
Not surprised by the potential buyout for Dwight Howard in Brooklyn. Would certainly have seen Howard coming off the bench in Brooklyn with Jarrett Allen entrenched at center. The trade was all about unloading the Mozgov contract to Charlotte.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 21, 2018
Watch this space!
- Dwight Howard wants ‘opportunity to help team win’ - Chris Haynes - ESPN
- Nets dodging a star they would ‘f–king hate’ - Brian Lewis - New York Post