One of the Atlanta Hawks free agency dreams may have taken a hit but the other remains alive but is still a longshot. Chris Broussard reports that free agent center Dwight Howard is not likely to return to the Los Angeles Lakers and will meet with the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks when free agency opens on July 1.
Howard plans to meet with Dallas, Houston and Atlanta before meeting with the Lakers once teams are allowed to contact free agents beginning July 1, a source said. It appears that the teams will visit Howard in Los Angeles.
Broussard still views the Hawks as a longshot to land Howard and those hopes certainly took a hit when Doc Rivers left the Celtics to become the head coach of the Clippers which almost certainly guarantees that Chris Paul will remain in Los Angeles. However, if you are the Hawks then all you want is a chance and Danny Ferry along with Mike Budenholzer apparently will get their opportunity to sell Howard on their plans for rebuilding the franchise.
If Howard shows interest it could set off a chain of events that could also involve the future of Josh Smith in Atlanta who is a lifelong friend of Howards and to this point has been a pretty safe bet to be moving on to another team.