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Hawks, Celtics have free agency meetings scheduled with Dwight Howard

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The Atlanta Hawks will be one of the first teams to meet with free agent center Dwight Howard when free agency opens on Friday.

NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics will be the first teams to sit down and openly recruit free agent center Dwight Howard when free agency opens on Friday. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Chris Broussard report that both teams are expected to meet with Howard shortly after the free agency period opens at 12:01 AM.

While the Hawks are reportedly looking at a number of options, the report suggests they are looking to pair Horford with Howard in their frontcourt.

ESPN reported earlier Tuesday that the Hawks, while still trying to convince Kevin Durant to grant them a face-to-face sitdown, have been weighing a run at Howard to pair him with Al Horford in their frontcourt. Howard, a three-time former NBA defensive player of the year, is a native of Atlanta.

The report does not mention Paul Millsap who is under contract and seems like an unlikely candidate to come off the bench or switch to small forward full time. It also doesn’t mention Kent Bazemore whom the Hawks have also reportedly made a priority to re-sign.