Nets finalize buyout with Dwight Howard, clearing way for Wizards

The Brooklyn Nets have finalized a contract buyout with center Dwight Howard, clearing the way for him to sign a two-year, $11 million free-agent deal with the Washington Wizards, league sources told ESPN.

The deal with the Wizards will include a player option, sources said.

The Nets and Howard weren't allowed to finalize a buyout until the end of the NBA's signing moratorium on Friday. Howard's $23.8 million salary will need to go unclaimed through waivers before he can sign with the Wizards.

Brooklyn acquired Howard in a draft-day trade with the Charlotte Hornets for Timofey Mozgov and the 45th pick in June's NBA draft.

The Nets will save nearly $17 million on the trade in the 2019-20 season, allowing them to create two max-salary slots for free agency next summer.

Howard, 32, an eight-time NBA All-Star, is changing teams for the fourth time in nearly three years -- from the Houston Rockets to the Atlanta Hawks to Charlotte, Brooklyn and now Washington.

The Wizards traded starting center Marcin Gortat to the LA Clippers for Austin Rivers last month.