NBA Rumors: Dwight Howard Interested In Signing With Atlanta Hawks

A hometown kid in the NBA might finally be returning home. According to ESPN, Dwight Howard has granted the Atlanta Hawks a meeting during the first few days of free agency. The talented center has long been linked to his hometown team, but it now looks like it might finally happen.

Dwight Howard was initially scheduled to make $23.2 million with the Houston Rockets next season. Fortunately for him, he and his agent made sure that there was an option in the contract that would enable him to become a free agent and take advantage of the record-breaking salary cap space in the NBA.

Though he could still return to the Houston Rockets, it seems highly unlikely that Dwight Howard would sign on to play with new head coach Mike D’Antoni. The two of them did not exactly have a great relationship when they were together with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni
The Atlanta Hawks are hoping to build a dream front court that consists of Al Horford and Dwight Howard teaming up together. They’re doing that even though the Oklahoma City Thunder are trying hard to lure away Horford, as reported by ESPN.

If the Atlanta Hawks are able to pair up Al Horford and Dwight Howard, it will leave quite a difficult situation with Paul Millsap. The 31-year-old forward has been an NBA All Star for the past three seasons, so it will be interesting to see if he is willing to take a role off the bench.

With the record-breaking new salary cap space, Dwight Howard and his agent are going to be asking for at least $31 million a year. That might be too much for NBA executives to swallow, especially since Howard is now on the wrong side of 30.

Many in the NBA believe that Dwight Howard can still put up double digits in points and rebounds. He still has enough talent to do that. However, the same people question if he’s enough of a winner to warrant being paid a maximum contract as he is entering his twilight years.

According to Fox Sports, Dwight Howard is also expected to meet with the Boston Celtics. The franchise has been looking to add a star player to its already talented roster. The Celtics attempted to use their plethora of assets during the NBA Draft to acquire a star, but team president Danny Ainge simply could not make a deal happen.

While he’s no longer the dominant force in the paint that he used to be, Dwight Howard is still considered one of the better big men in the NBA. Some team executive is going to take a chance on him because their team is so close to competing.

Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford
Though an official meeting between the two sides has yet to be finalized, there’s a chance that Dwight Howard could end up with the Miami Heat. The franchise is bracing for the potential loss of Hassan Whiteside in free agency.

CBS Sports is reporting that Hassan Whiteside is set to meet with the Dallas Mavericks first when free agency begins. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is very aggressive when it comes to free agency, so there’s a very good chance that he’s going to convince Whiteside to sign with Dallas.

Dwight Howard is more than likely going to be leaving the Houston Rockets and wearing a different NBA jersey next season. The Atlanta Hawks are hoping that he decides to come home and help them try to figure out how to get past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

[Photo by Thearon W Henderson/Getty Images]