TUESDAY, 3:08pm: The Rockets and Hawks have spoken, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com indicates via Twitter, though it’s unclear what sort of dialogue took place.
MONDAY, 9:44am: Dwight Howard would like to find a way to play for the Hawks, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN, who spoke this morning in an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show (audio link, scroll to 7:30 mark). His representatives spoke with the Hawks as early as last year, Broussard adds. The Hawks, in Howard’s hometown of Atlanta, were one of the teams with which Howard met in the summer of 2013, when he ultimately signed with the Rockets. Still, Howard said last week that he hasn’t asked for a trade.
The Rockets have reportedly engaged teams about their interest in trading for Howard, but it’s not clear whether the Hawks are one of them, and it appears to be more a matter of due diligence than any serious push to trade him. Broussard suggests it’s unlikely that Houston moves him before Thursday’s deadline. Agent Dan Fegan made comments last week that seemed to counter an assertion in the report from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports that the Rockets were working in concert with him to find a new home for the star center.
Houston expects Howard to opt out of his contract and hit free agency this summer, when longtime Hawks center Al Horford is also poised to become a free agent. The Hawks, who apparently aren’t entirely sure Horford will re-sign, have been calling teams to assess their interest in trading for him, along with Jeff Teague, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com wrote this weekend. Still, Horford has said he’s content in Atlanta. The Hawks already have close to $53MM in guaranteed salary for next season, so it would likely be impossible for the team to sign both Horford and Howard to max deals under the projected $89MM cap.