Like everyone else in the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks want in on the Kevin Durant free agency sweepstakes.
And if that fails, Dwight Howard wouldn’t be a bad fallback option.
The No. 1 priority for Atlanta remains re-signing Al Horford and Kent Bazemore.
Sources said that the Hawks, like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, have been working to persuade Durant and his representatives to have a face-to-face recruiting meeting after free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, even though their chances appear dim.
One source of hope for the Hawks, sources say, is the presence of longtime NBA All-Star Grant Hill in the Hawks’ ownership group, with Hill expected to lead Atlanta’s lobbying efforts.
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. […] The Hawks, of course, face a stiff challenge in trying to retain Horford, who sources say is expected to draw free-agent interest from a number of teams, including the Lakers, Rockets, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.