Dwight Howard is heading home. The Atlanta native has reportedly signed a three-year deal worth $70.5 million with the Hawks. It is believed that Howard will earn $23.5 million a year, which is a pay raise after he declined a player option worth $23.2 million with the Rockets.
The 30-year-old center had a meeting scheduled with the Celtics but canceled after talks progressed with Atlanta. The move likely means that either Kent Bazemore or Al Horford, both of whom are free agents, will land on a new team.
The Vertical had the report first:
Dwight Howard has reached agreement on a three-year, $70.5 million with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2016
Howard and his agent, Perry Rogers, finalized the agreement on Friday afternoon in Atlanta. Howard had scheduled meetings on Saturday, but canceled them after coming to terms with Atlanta.
The deal averages $23.5 million in salary, the highest amount for a center so far in free agency.
Once the Hawks renounce the rights to Kirk Hinrich and Kris Humphries, the franchise will have $22.4 million in salary cap space. Currently, Atlanta likely can only sign one of its free agents, Al Horford or Kent Bazemore.
Both have gained significant interest on the market.
Keep up with the latest signings during the July free-agency period by following our 2016 NBA Free Agent Tracker.