This offseason will have a huge impact on the future of the Atlanta Hawks.
All-Star center Al Horford is set to hit free agency and there's no guarantee that he'll remain a Hawk moving forward. Atlanta's front office built an ultimate team, which finished first in the Eastern Conference in 2014-15 with four All-Stars, but they lack major star power and it's caught up to them in the last two postseasons as they've fallen easily on both occasions to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Keeping Horford has been cited as a top priority by head coach Mike Budenholzer, but they've set their sights even higher. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Hawks are aiming to land a face-to-face meeting with highly coveted free agent, Kevin Durant. Stein admits that their chances are slim.
Stein continues, stating a possible backup plan if Durant brushes them aside.
If the Hawks are unable to thrust themselves into the Durant bidding, sources say that one countermove Atlanta is weighing strongly is the free-agent pursuit of Atlanta native Dwight Howard to play alongside Horford in the frontcourt. Howard will become a free agent Friday after declining his $23 million player option next season with the Houston Rockets.
Horford is being pursued strongly by a number of other organizations, so adding Howard would naturally fill that hole if needed. They won't be the only team going after Howard of course, but they do have the advantage of playing in his hometown.
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