Atlanta Hawks: Still interested in Howard, now to pursue Durant


The Atlanta Hawks, though still interested in Dwight Howard, are working hard to schedule a recruiting meeting with Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant after free agency begins this Friday.

For a while, it seemed as though the push for “Kevin Durant to Atlanta” was simply a far-fetched dream only entertained by Atlanta Hawks fans. Let’s face it; he’s the biggest free agent on the market.

That is until recently, the Hawks themselves even bought into the hype. Their chances are slim, but the Atlanta Hawks have decided to pursue Kevin Durant. There’s a catch – every other team in the NBA would like to have him as well.

Durant is also expected to meet with the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. Rumor has it the Golden State Warriors will also pursue Durant, and if he truly wants to win a title, they are probably his best chance.

It may be a long shot, but the Hawks could have a chance of landing that meeting. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, “One source of hope for the Hawks, sources say, is the presence of longtime NBA All-Star Grant Hill in the Hawks’ ownership group, with Hill expected to lead Atlanta’s lobbying efforts.”

More from ATL All Day

Atlanta will try to schedule a meeting for July 1 using Hill as a form of incentive, which will hopefully be enough to land a face-to-face meeting with Durant. Free agents cannot officially sign contracts until July 7, but teams can start negotiating on July 1.

Aside from Durant, the Hawks still maintain offseason goals of re-signing both All-Star center Al Horford and small forward Kent Bazemore, and also remain interested in former Houston Rockets’ center Dwight Howard.

What are the chances of Durant becoming apart of the Atlanta Hawks by July 7? Not likely, but it’s worth a shot.

Could a run at the title in the Eastern Conference be enough for Durant? While the Celtics and Heat may also be interested in him, there is no other team in the East other than the Atlanta Hawks (aside from the Cleveland Cavaliers) who, with Durant, has a shot at being a serious championship contender.

After all, the sound of Dennis Schroder, Kent BazemorePaul MillsapAl Horford, and Kevin Durant certainly has a nice “ring” to it.

Next: Atlanta Hawks: An analysis of the 2016 NBA Draft picks

Even if they don’t have a prayer with Durant, the Atlanta Hawks can turn their focus to Atlanta native Dwight Howard, who, compared to Durant, is much more obtainable. Additionally, the Hawks pursuing Durant lets other free agents know that Atlanta is interested in being in the market.