Sources: Dwight Howard, Hawks agree to deal

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Dwight Howard agreed to play for his hometown team. (AP)
Dwight Howard agreed to play for his hometown team. (AP)

Free-agent center Dwight Howard has reached agreement on a three-year, $70.5 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told The Vertical.

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.

Howard is a native of Atlanta, attending Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, and has been motivated to return home and propel the Hawks in the Eastern Conference.

Howard was part of a deep free-agent class of big men that includes Hassan Whiteside, Joakim Noah, Bismack Biyombo, Timofey Mozgov and Al Jefferson. All except for Biyombo have agreed with teams. Howard’s résumé includes five All-NBA first-team honors, three Defensive Player of the Year Awards and a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009.

Howard has averaged 17.8 points and 12.7 rebounds in his career with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

Howard was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft.

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