Most brushed it aside and kept the Nets and the Lakers in the lead to acquire Howard’s services.
When the Nets re-signed Brook Lopez, they took themselves out of the Howard race until January and the Lakers, who have All-Star center Andrew Bynum as a trade chip, seemingly took the lead. HtD continues to hear the Houston Rockets, who have three rookies, Kevin Martin‘s expiring contract and multiple future draft picks are in the lead.
However, the Atlanta Hawks could be a real player.
Not only do the Hawks have an All-Star big man in former Florida Gator Al Horford, but they could potentially part with Jeff Teague, who showed great improvement in the 2012 postseason.
When the Hawks traded Johnson to the Nets, not only did they help eat up Brooklyn’s cap room, but they acquired Anthony Morrow, who Howard named as one of the five players he’d like to play with.
“With me and Josh having a relationship with Dwight, it’s a possibility,” Morrow told Alex Kennedy of Hoops World. “It’s always a possibility, but that’s something that they’ll have to take care of upstairs. Mr. Ferry is doing a great job so far. Anything is possible, you never know. It’d be great with the relationship that us three have, and (fellow Atlanta native) Lou Williams too, especially from a chemistry standpoint.”
The Hawks also have All-Star power forward Josh Smith, someone Howard grew up playing basketball with in Atlanta.
Of course, the Hawks can’t offer the cap relief and future picks the Magic desire like a team like the Rockets can.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)