The latest from Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico is Hawks-centric and touches on many of the same topics as Marc Stein's column from earlier today. The most noteworthy overlap between the reports is that the idea of Dwight Howard leaving L.A. after one season is gaining momentum in NBA circles. Amico writes that the Hawks are considered the favorite should Howard leave the Lakers, and they plan to make a big push for the All-Star center. Here are other notes from Amico's story:
- The Hawks have eight expiring contracts – Josh Smith, Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Kyle Korver, Johan Petro, Dahntay Jones, Anthony Tolliver and Shelvin Mack – and GM Danny Ferry believes that this is the summer that could "change the course of his franchise." The team also holds options on DeShawn Stevenson and Mike Scott that are no guarantee to be picked up.
- Citing league executives, Amico writes that Atlanta is convinced the uncertainty surrounding the Lakers' future and a chance to return to his hometown will force Howard to consider them as a realistic landing spot. The Rockets and Suns are also expected to offer Howard a deal, but Amico's sources suspect the Hawks are the Lakers' only real competition.
- The Hawks will have the financial flexibility to add Howard as well as another star to a roster that will already include Al Horford. Amico reports that the Hawks are also expected to actively explore trades as the draft approaches.
- Amico's sources expect Ferry to handpick a replacement for Larry Drew, and he confirms Stein's report that Quin Snyder could be a target. Snyder and Ferry played together at Duke in the '80s and also were roommates at one point. Amico also mentions Mike Budenholzer and Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks as potential options.