The Nets and Hornets are finalizing a deal that will bring Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, with Timofey Mozgov heading to Charlotte, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Nets will also be sending two future second-round picks and cash to Charlotte, says Wojnarowski, who notes deal will save the Nets $17 million in 2019-20, which will allow them to sign two max-salary players if they choose.
Howard, 32, will make $23.8 million this season, after which he will be an unrestricted free agent.
He averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds last season for the Hornets, while playing 81 games.
The 31-year-old Mozgov recently criticized Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, saying he was "dissatisfied" with his season.
Mozgov said Atkinson, who has coached the Nets to a 48-116 record in two years since taking over, tried talking to him about his displeasure with the Nets' losing and his lack of playing time, but said he was not pleased with the response.
"I tried to speak to Atkinson but he was not able to give me answer," Mozgov told a Russian media outlet 10 days ago, according to SB Nation. "Anyway I'm confident. Just want to play for Brooklyn or any other NBA team. ... I tried to talk to him, but I did not succeed in drawing out something intelligible."
Henry Carr, SNY.tv:
The addition of Howard brings a veteran presence to a young frontcourt. Whether or not the Nets retain Jahlil Okafor, the acquisition of the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year will help with the development of Jarrett Allen.
The 20-year-old Allen is coming off a rookie season where he averaged 8.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.2 BPG. There are plenty of similarities between him and Howard as long, rim-protecting centers. A significant difference between the two is that Allen shot 77.6 percent from the free throw line, which is higher than any single season free throw percentage from Howard.
By sending Mozgov to Charlotte, the Nets will only have one guaranteed contract on the books for the 2019-20 season. Hinging on potential restricted free agents D'Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the Nets could potentially have 50-60 million in cap space for the summer of 2019.
In that offseason, the likes of Klay Thompson, Tobias Harris and DeAndre Jordan are for sure to hit the market. This trade gives the Nets the possibility to make a large splash come 2019.