2013 NBA Free Agency: Atlanta Hawks expected to visit Dwight Howard on Monday

Ronald Martinez

The NBA Free Agency period opens at midnight on Sunday and the Atlanta Hawks are reportedly scheduled to meet with free agent center Dwight Howard on Monday.

The NBA Free Agency period opens Sunday at midnight ET and allows teams to begin to negotiate with free agents. Dwight Howard is one of the biggest free agents on the market and the Atlanta Hawks are expected to meet with Howard on Monday according to Sam Amick.

The Houston Rockets will have the first crack at Howard and his current team, the Lakers, requested to have the final word. ESPN.com's Ramona Shelbourne reports that the meetings aren't scheduled according to Howard's preference but did honor the Lakers' request to go last.

"The meetings are not scheduled by preference," said the source. "And Howard respected the Lakers' wish to go last."

Howard doesn't want this process to linger on according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and could have a decision in place before the end of next week.

Atlanta has long been viewed as a longshot in the Dwight sweepstakes this summer but there remains a chance. Danny Ferry will try to sell to Howard that his plan for the future is the right one and that Howard could help bring a championship to the city of Atlanta.

The other big free agent this summer is L.A. Clippers point guard Chris Paul and his representatives have reportedly been informing teams that he will re-sign with the Clippers in the wake of Doc Rivers' hiring as head coach. That means Howard will be the first domino to fall and will have an effect on the rest of the free agent class as teams will hang on to their cap space until Howard is off the market.

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