Atlanta Hawks: Angling for Dwight Howard

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports the Hawks engaged the Magic in trade talks about center Dwight Howard earlier this month.

The Hawks did put together a deal for Howard back when the Magic had him on the market. My understanding is they did so without a commitment from Howard that he would either exercise his contract opt-in for next season or sign a long-term deal. The proposed deal eventually fell apart on Orlando’s end.

I’m not certain which players the Hawks offered but it’s unlikely Josh Smith was one of them. The Hawks would try to entice Howard to sign with the team long-term for the chance to play at home with his good friend.

That leaves either Al Horford or Joe Johnson as the centerpiece in a proposed trade for Howard. Horford has the most appeal for Orlando because of his talent, age and his popularity among the region’s fans from his days at the University of Florida.

The Magic have told teams that they are no longer actively trying to trade Howard while they try to convince him to re-sign. If they decide again to part with Howard, I think the Hawks are likely to re-engage them in trade talks. If, as Stein reports, the Magic are seeking “multiple established veterans who can keep the team competitive” then the Hawks are well-positioned to make a competitive offer and still maintain a good core of players around Howard.

It would be a risky move for the Hawks since it’s possible Howard they could get Howard as a short-term rental in exchange for an All-Star player on a long-term contract. Howard has identified the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers as his preferred trade destinations.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

227 comments Add your comment

KZ

December 28th, 2011
10:03 am

Enter your comments here

Earl T.

December 28th, 2011
10:05 am

Let’s do it!

DC

December 28th, 2011
10:05 am

I still do not have any faith in the ASG. They need to show us somethign real. Although, great game by the Hawks last night.

DC

December 28th, 2011
10:06 am

typo – Something.

Hot sauce

December 28th, 2011
10:07 am

Doubt they will trade him to a divisional rival

KevinM

December 28th, 2011
10:08 am

Thanks for this article MC. Many of us have been putting together scenarios for D12. Would the Magic actually take on Joe since they have already played their amnesty card?
Would the Magic take Al, Teague and a couple of draft picks? It just seems illogical to see the Magic dealing him to a division rival, much less an Eastern rival.

JP

December 28th, 2011
10:09 am

Orlando wouldn’t trade him to a division rival.

vava74

December 28th, 2011
10:10 am

KevinM,

Even if ORL had not used the amnesty yet, you can only use it for player ALREADY UNDER contract.

I think this is typical bullsh*t from ESPN and we should not even think about it.

James

December 28th, 2011
10:10 am

Don’t give up anybody really young like Teague to a division rival but definitely at least make a push for him.

J from the A

December 28th, 2011
10:11 am

I wonder if it would be worth it if the Hawks could convince Howard to simply re-up his player option (a la Paul and the Clippers)? This would give the Hawks this year and next to push for a championship, but if Howard decides to not extend past next year, the Hawks could easily see Howard and Josh Smith walk after next year. And considering the Hawks would have to give up either Horford or Johnson (if not both) to land Howard, this would decimate the Hawks for years to come.

Deal sounds great short term, but could be very, very risky long term.

You know....

December 28th, 2011
10:15 am

It looks like Sund did a good job filling out this roster. Veterans and speed guys with lots of energy. The Hawks won’t need superman if they all continue to contribute.

And by the way, Marvin was the best of the many Hawks who saw the floor last night!

J from the A

December 28th, 2011
10:16 am

… given contract expiration dates and the doubt that Howard would stay long-term in Atlanta even if Josh was here, I could see where it would make more since to package Josh in a trade. If you are assuming Howard is probably going to leave either way, packaging Josh would be a lot less riskier long term.

… but as a fan, I would LOVE to see Josh and Dwight on the same team!

J from the A

December 28th, 2011
10:17 am

Clarification: As a fan, I would LOVE to see Josh and Dwight both on the HAWKS!

GO HAWKS!!!

Melvin

December 28th, 2011
10:19 am

If we can bring Howard home and keep Josh, then that deal should have been done yesterday…

kwooden

December 28th, 2011
10:19 am

I feel good that the HAWKS did the obvious! Keep trying Sund!

J from the A

December 28th, 2011
10:20 am

TYPOS! *sense, not since

Melvin

December 28th, 2011
10:20 am

Forget the Clippers. With Teague, Josh and Dwight Atlanta would be the true Lobby City.

KevinM

December 28th, 2011
10:21 am

Trying is not the same as succeeding….I agree with kwooden.

ryan

December 28th, 2011
10:22 am

Do it Al Horford and Joe Johnson and a first round pick that could do it .

John

December 28th, 2011
10:24 am

I am not touching him unless he is extended when the deal is done. I don’t care how good he is. I don’t want the Hawks to trade their team away for a short season rental.

J from the A

December 28th, 2011
10:25 am

Al + Joe + 1st round pick = Dwight and Hedo.

If Dwight and Josh walk by the end of next year, this would spell disaster for the Hawks for years to come. [No Al, no Joe, no Josh, no Dwight, and stuck with Hedo's contract for another year.]

ryan

December 28th, 2011
10:26 am

It looks like the going for the east crown if they make this move they want win now ,

J from the A

December 28th, 2011
10:26 am

Now, if the Hawks can convince Howard to extend, that changes the equation.

KevinM

December 28th, 2011
10:32 am

I don’t see Sund moving 2 captains and especially if one isn’t Josh.
If D12 moves elsewhere, prepare to hear rumors about Josh being moved.

Sautee

December 28th, 2011
10:33 am

Jaded as i am, I wouldn’t doubt that Gearon floated this around to convince the town that they were actually trying. But would they do it? nahhhhhhh

Would the Magic trade within the division? nahhhhhh

ryan

December 28th, 2011
10:34 am

Howard , T Mac , Josh Smith , great front court if Joe is traded then Teague will be the man .

Steven A

December 28th, 2011
10:35 am

Joe Johnson is not an elite player, never has been, and never will be. If you can move him in any
trade right now, you do it!!!!!!

Nathan

December 28th, 2011
10:37 am

After what i saw last night in do not want a trade right now. I saw a more post of Horford, Faster Josh smith, Marvin actually almost getting a double double, Joe make his shots and teague be great. With a great and better bench than last year Go Hawks!

Nathan

December 28th, 2011
10:39 am

The team we have this year is faster and younger to beat the old celtics. We have a center and PG that miami doesnt have. We have more depth than the Knicks. My onlyy concern is the dag um bulls!

Tremaine

December 28th, 2011
10:41 am

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steven A

December 28th, 2011
10:41 am

What say you Mr. Cunningham??? Your best player, your highest paid player, must have the most heart, the most courage, and the most desire. Mr. Johnson is not wired this way. The Atlanta Hawks must part with this man if they want to win a championship.

ryan

December 28th, 2011
10:42 am

We need to bring D12 home he has said many times he would like to play with his friend Josh Smith i think him playing with Derron Williams is out .

Tremaine

December 28th, 2011
10:43 am

Am I dreaming?

vava74

December 28th, 2011
10:44 am

On last night’s game:

1. Let’s keep it real. On offense we did not play any differently than years past to start the game, the difference was that the shots (long jumpers) went in and NJN were a tired team which did not box out and gave us second chances.

2. The biggest difference for us was our D: guys were rotating and closing on shooters hard, active hands all over, blocks, defensive rebounds. A visible improvement but a very small and unreliable sample.

2. Teague did not play according to my expectations. I assume his ankle is bothering him since I saw a few plays in which he was badly beaten on D by Deron and on offense did not penetrate as much as I was hoping he would.

His 3 pointers looked like his college shots so, if his confidence is up, he may continue to nail them at a sufficiently good pace to get him more space to penetrate (Deron simply gave him on average 5 to 7 feet and invited him to shoot).

3. Horford looked like %&$#, but worked well on D, like everyone else. Let’s hope that he wakes up to the reality that his game is not polished enough for him to stick to starting plays from the elbow (either shooting or driving).

4. Josh did not look good overal but made up, as usual, with key defensive possessions (boxscore is wrong, he had 2 blocks). He also rebounded very well, confirming my view that his weight loss will be very very beneficial.

5. JJ looked a bit sluggish but never stalled the offense, either passing quickly as soon as he had the defense on him or making a quick play to get him a shot. He had a bit bad luck with some of the shots which looked good. His defense was also good.

6. Marvin was good and should keep up being like this: active. Some tips did not went in and some bad possessions looked typical, but the fact is that he was throwing his body around and that is what we need him to do.

7. Pargo was excellent IMO (Rod, my apologies, they guy knows how to play ball) in particular on D, but even on offense, he is quick moving the ball and has a good handle. He got 3 treys to go in, unfortunately, one was overruled by a foul by someone else. That is a good sign. In spite of his elbow jumpers rimming out, they came within a good offensive flow.

8. Green was promising: his legs are not yet there but he had some nifty moves. Kind of looks and plays like a smaller version of JJ on offense and on D was active and alert. I think he will be a good pick up.

9. T-Mac was surprisingly good and he did have plenty of reasons to complaint about the refs. He got wacked at least 3 times without the call. He still has a good first step and with that frame, against opposing subs, he will contribute if his health does not betray him.

Also very alert on D, with good positioning and moving his hands.

10. V-Rad was a huge surprise for me. I knew that he had the skills but he has been a perennial under achiever with horrible effort levels.

Let’s hope that he continues like this since he also seems to have a positive effect on Zaza (it’s like the speak the same basketball language – “Euroball”).

11. Zaza was very good. Active and showing more willingness to make plays and not simply make the safe pass out. Obviously, from a match up point of view, this was a beneficial situation, but with the game already broken his hustle levels were outstanding.

Posterising Shelden was a classic. I want that pic, it will become a collectors edition :-D !!! Only Shel-head could make this happen!!!

12. Ivan showed in 6 minutes what can make him a bad pick up (his beloved long jumper breaking up a play) and what can make him a terrific pick up (excellent drive, 4 rebounds in 6 minutes, 1 assist AND a no back down attitude that earned him a tech).

We need that type of intensity – lets only hope that the refs don’t persecute him since the tech was to harsh IMO. This is the type of guy which can be brought in when you see a drop in effort levels in order to re-start our engine.

13. Stack looked old, but seem to have a good cooling and stabilizing effect on the second team. He is the coach’s extension on the floor.

One last word:

The quality of the suits on the ATL bench improved dramatically: Bender, Conner and LD all had decent suits and ties to open the season and no longer looked like beaten up insurance salesmen!!!

Mike

December 28th, 2011
10:45 am

Hmm, I am so torn about this but if D12 is willing to extend here, then go ahead and do the trade, however we dont want to go through “The name that never be spoken again” trade again.

Dwight, you are a smart man, Atlanta is your home, you was a Hawks fan when you were younger, your best friend plays here. You can bring this organization farther then the great ones like Nique, Deke, Mookie and so much more. Just food for thought.

i_am_soulstar

December 28th, 2011
10:45 am

Barkley (paraphrased): “You don’t wanna play at home, man. Dealing with family and friends and tickets all the time, it’s a headache.”

I wonder how Howard feels about this statement.

Not that I think the Magic would be eager to trade within the division, but stranger things have happened.

Nathan

December 28th, 2011
10:46 am

Not to mention it was good to get rid of jamal Vlad had twice has much as jamal season’s average has been and jamal went 2-11 last night in shots horrible! Yall need to stop hating on Joe. He is the main part why we were in the playoffs the last 4 yrs and also if we dindt resign him We would be a worst team.

Steven A

December 28th, 2011
10:47 am

Dwight Howard will not come to the Atlanta Hawks, PERIOD!!! If You are Otis Smith, GM of the Orlando Magic, would you EVER make this deal?

DC

December 28th, 2011
10:47 am

Why the Nets?!? That doesn’t make any sense…

Tremaine

December 28th, 2011
10:48 am

Trade any two players except Teague? Don’t do the deal unless Howard sign an extension.

Maybe

December 28th, 2011
10:49 am

Didn’t we just beat them in the playoffs last year? If D12 really wants to come here and WIN a title then he KNOWS we can’t afford to give up ANYBODY.

He would have to sacrifice by taking the vet min here in ATL for ONE YEAR, and then we go over the cap to max him out in 2013. We’d win titles for the next ten years lol. But we all know that won’t happen.

Tremaine

December 28th, 2011
10:50 am

Steven A

December 28th, 2011
10:47 am
Dwight Howard will not come to the Atlanta Hawks, PERIOD!!! If You are Otis Smith, GM of the Orlando Magic, would you EVER make this deal?

Yes, if you can get an all-star like Al Horford and possibly Joe Johnson.

ryan

December 28th, 2011
10:56 am

Derrick Rose went home to Chicago and doing pretty well for him self to say player or superstar can’t handle the pressure of home is not true .

JJ

December 28th, 2011
10:57 am

Don’t think the divisional angle has any bearing whatsoever on this deal. This ain’t baseball where there’s only 4 (now 5) playoff teams and you play your divisional teams 18 or 19 times. NBA teams play basically the same schedule as everyone else and compete moreso against the rest of the Conference for a playoff spot rather than the division. There’s basically no difference in Orlando trading D12 to NJN or Hawks.

All that said, I’ll be downright speechless if Sund and his band of merry misfits (aka ASG) were ever able to actually pull this big of a deal off. No chance.

vava74

December 28th, 2011
10:57 am

ryan,

Rose’s mental strength is 100000000x bigger than Howard’s.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2011
10:58 am

Melvin, can we get a “Lob Neighborhood” with Teague & Josh? Of course, that requires that Josh approach the rim. :lol:

I get the “romance” of two Atlanta kids playing together, but more pragmaticaqlly, I don’t see how they fit well on the offensive side of the floor. Josh ideally needs to be in the post on driving the lane and Dwight is the same. I’d fear that any low-post presence would only result in Josh continuing to live his Dale Ellis fantasies.

vava74

December 28th, 2011
11:00 am

AJ: “Josh continuing to live his Dale Ellis fantasies.”

CLASSIC STUFF!!!!

Ken Strickland

December 28th, 2011
11:04 am

Some of you get so caught up in your likes and dislikes that you can’t seem to think beyond you emotions when it comes to trade scenarios. If you make that trade, you do it in a manner that allows you to maintain a balanced and competitive roster. Trading Teague, JJ, and Horford won’t do that. You offer Marvin, Hinrich, and his expiring contract, Horford, if you have to have Josh to make him want to come here, and a draft pick. That way, you end up with a starting lineup of PG-Teague, SG-JJ, PF-Josh, OC-Dwight, and SF-Radmanovic, who you could use at SF with Dwight manning the post. Your bench would be TMac, Green, Pargo, Zaza, Twin, Johnson, Stackhouse, and maybe Sloan.

If you must, you substitute Zaza for Marvin. However, considering how effectively they’ve seen Twin defend Dwight, they might prefer Twin, and his minimum salary, over Zaza.

JJ

December 28th, 2011
11:04 am

Oh, and if I were the GM, the conversation would take all of 30 seconds and would go like this:

Smith: Hey, we decided to trade Dwight
Me: Pick any two on the roster and I’ll throw in a draft pick. Don’t care what two, just pick any of em.
Smith: How about Joe and Al, but you’ll have to take Hedo as well.
Me: Done and done. Send Superman home.
Smith: Oh, by the way, he isn’t guaranteeing that he’ll resign.
Me: Don’t care, just send him my way.
Smith: Done.

rollow lawson

December 28th, 2011
11:04 am

Don’t get dupped into renting Dwight Howard for a 66 game season. The NBA is watered down this year. Miami might be the only sure thing this year and they lack depth. I like what Sund has done with the bench. And it only gets stronger when Hinrich comes back. I say we roll with what we have. Besides, Dwight Howard is a crybaby!!