The Atlanta Hawks can consider themselves part of one of the NBA’s biggest, most inclusive current team categories: long shots in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. But, like the 29 teams who won’t get to sign Durantula, word of their post-Durant plans have begun to emerge, and they involve an Atlanta native.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Dwight Howard is in their crosshairs.
“If the Hawks are unable to thrust themselves into the Durant bidding,” Stein writes, “sources say that one countermove Atlanta is weighing strongly is the free-agent pursuit of Atlanta native Dwight Howard play alongside Horford in the frontcourt. Howard will become a free agent Friday after declining his $23 million player option next season with the Houston Rockets.”
Howard played AAU ball in Atlanta before going straight from high school to the Orlando Magic, where he was one of the league’s very best players before he botched almost all of his good will with fans, teammates, and front offices with an epic series of P.R. blunders involving profound indecision, bad media leaks, and excessive candy consumption and flatulence.
Howard is not who he once was physically, but he’s an underrated basketball player due to all the negative attention he gets for his personality. If he can reset his public image in his hometown, he’d be a good get for the Hawks, especially if they can pair him with Al Horford in a monster front court.