The Hawks will be an impressive $52 million (roughly) under the soft cap next year, which means that they would not only be able to sign Howard, but also build a team around him. Heck they could ink both Howard and Chris Paul.
Howard would serve in tandem with the 26-year-old Al Horford, ushering in a new “Twin Towers” era for Atlanta. For Howard, this deal would reunite him with his hometown of Atlanta and play in front of the same people who witnessed his career in high school.
In terms of what the Hawks could offer over the other competing teams, well, the list is short. The Hawks exist in a middle ground of age between the Rockets, Lakers and Mavericks, and they don’t enjoy the income tax free status of Dallas and Houston. The single advantage that Atlanta has over all the other teams is the sheer amount of cap space they have.
Atlanta could very well build an entire team around Horford and Howard, something that factors in greatly in a free agent’s decision. Couple that with the fact that a move to Atlanta has sentimental value for Howard (Philips Arena is just a 20- minute drive from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy), and the Hawks have a strong presence in this sweepstakes.
Probability: 20 percent