Day 1 of Dwight Howard's free agency tour is in the books. With the Houston Rockets already dealt with and the Los Angeles Lakers set for Tuesday, the coveted big man closed Monday by meeting with the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors.
Let's break down the latest in Dwightmare:
- Howard met with the Hawks in Los Angeles Monday afternoon. The main selling point in Atlanta is the fact that Howard is from Atlanta and would get the chance to make a homecoming. With Josh Smith probably leaving, though, the cupboard is pretty much bare. Howard would be paired alongside Al Horford, a really solid frontcourt player, with Lou Williams controlling play in the backcourt. Not a championship contender most likely, but perhaps a force in the Eastern Conference.
With only $22 million in salary cap commitments next year, the Hawks could hypothetically squeeze in both Howard and Smith under the cap, but one of them would have to take a pay cut. Peachtree Hoops wrote about Smith and Howard as mutually exclusive options for Atlanta -- with the latter almost preferable -- though they also admitted signing Howard seems like a bit of a longshot.
So how did the meeting go with the Hawks? Per ESPN:
Hawks general manager Danny Ferry and new coach Mike Budenholzer met with Howard in Los Angeles. Ferry had no comment except to tell ESPN's Shelley Smith the meeting went "well."
This was probably meant to sound enthusiastic. It totally does not sound enthusiastic.
- Next up for Dwight was Golden State. Golden State of Mind took a look at what people were saying about the Warriors' chances of landing Howard, noticing people generally don't think of the Warriors as a likely possibility. If Howard's meeting with them, though, there's at least some chance he'd consider them. They're a young, exciting team -- as evidenced by a gunning playoff run sparked by Klay Thompson and Steph Curry -- though the former could be part of a sign-and-trade package headed to LA if Howard somehow did sign in Oakland.
The Warriors lacked much of an inside presence with center Andrew Bogut injured for so much of the season, though. Howard would shore that position up immediately and allow them to win games from the inside out instead of banking on three-point shooting, too, which isn't always sustainable. If Golden State wants Howard, they'll need to do a sign-and-trade -- a move that would give the Lakers return on Howard, something they wouldn't get from any other squad.
- We learned an interesting tidbit about Howard's midnight pitch from Houston. We knew that the Lakers planned to sway Howard with the promise of a TV show produced by Time Warner, but according to ESPNLA's Dave McMenamin, the Rockets also promised Howard a TV show, this one on Comcast SportsNet Houston. YES, BECAUSE WE'RE ALL GOING TO WANT TO SEE MORE OF DWIGHT HOWARD AFTER THIS PROCESS IS OVER.
A TV show on a regional sports network in Texas probably isn't as glitzy as the Lakers' Hollywood offering, but it shows that, just because he'd be moving away from LA, doesn't mean he'd be losing all the potential for exposure. They're supposedly Dwight's top choice, and this just makes them even more of a top choice.
Also, wow, Dwight Howard apparently really wants a TV show.