The Atlanta Hawks made a trade proposal earlier this month for Orlando Magic star center Dwight Howard that would include guard Joe Johnson and forward Josh Smith, according to ESPN.com.
It is not known whether Howard would be open to signing an extension with the Hawks if traded to Atlanta, which is viewed by many as a necessity for a team to give up pieces to acquire him in a trade. The 26-year-old is from Atlanta, however a recent report indicates that he would only be willing to sign long-term with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, or New Jersey Nets.
While at one point a Howard trade seemed immanent, the Magic have said recently that they are not likely to trade Howard until closer to the NBA’s trade deadline, if at all. The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has indicated that he will opt out of his contract following this season, and has been non-committal about his future in Orlando. However, by waiting until closer to the deadline to potentially deal Howard, the Magic open the door to convincing the center to possibly stay with the team, and also give themselves more leverage in a potential trade.