ATLANTA - MAY 10: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic enjoys a laugh at a parody about him on the big screen next to Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(From SB Nation Atlanta - Kris Willis) By clearing bucket loads of cap space Danny Ferry has put the Atlanta Hawks in position to make quite a splash in free agency during the summer of 2013. In one week's time, Ferry has cleared up approximately $40 million in cap space for the 2013 offseason.
The Hawks have thus quickly emerged as a potential destination for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, who grew up in the Atlanta area and is close friends with Hawks swingman Josh Smith. Howard is also close with Anthony Morrow, one of five players that the Hawks will acquire from the Brooklyn Nets in their pending trade with the Nets for Johnson.
Perhaps that makes Smith the most important piece of the puzzle now. For two seasons he has been rumored to be looking for a way out of Atlanta but now is reportedly intrigued by the moves that Ferry has made.
The flurry of action, after years of restraint from the Hawks, has also made a fast impression on Smith, sources said. Smith had been vocal for months about wanting to be dealt, but sources told ESPN.com that the swingman is excited about the direction Ferry has taken things in his brief time in charge.