It will be the second season in New Orleans for the 6-foot-9 Bowen, an eight-year veteran who spent his first five seasons in Denver before going to Houston for two years. Terms of the deal weren't released.
Bowen appeared in 53 games last season, including four starts, and averaged 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game.
Never relied upon as a scorer, Bowen gave coach Byron Scott a hustling defender, the kind of role required in an up-tempo style like the Hornets prefer.
The Hornets' biggest move so far this offseason was signing veteran swingman James Posey, a key reserve on NBA championship squads in Boston this year and Miami in 2006.
The Hornets also hope to bring back reserve point guard Jannero Pargo, who opted out of the final year of his contract with New Orleans in hopes of getting a raise and a longer deal.