NBA Trade Rumors: Atlanta Hawks Must Stop Pursuing Dwight Howard

Andrew WallockContributor IJuly 10, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts after a turnover to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Even though there is a proposed deal in place that would send Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets for a ridiculous number of bodies and draft picks, it's been reported that the Atlanta Hawks are still trying to stay in the mix for a potential "rental" of Dwight Howard.

If there is one thing that new Hawks GM Danny Ferry should avoid, it's a trade for the never-happy Dwight Howard. 

For one, we all see what Orlando will be receiving in the proposed deal with Brooklyn. The trade (which also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers) has Dwight Howard going to Brooklyn, of course, with Orlando receiving Nets center Brook Lopez, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson and a number of draft picks.

The Cavaliers would get Kris Humphries, Sundiata Gaines, a draft pick, and cash. MarShon Brooks would find himself suiting up in Los Angeles. 

Orlando definitely would be smart to avoid making this potential deal.

The players involved won't bring much more to the table, and the draft picks from Brooklyn and Los Angeles won't be very high, as both teams aren't slotted to be in the lottery any time soon with their dramatically improved rosters. Plus, the second best player in this deal, MarShon Brooks, somehow ends up in Los Angeles, not Orlando. 

After reviewing the other trade, it would seem that Atlanta has a lot more to offer in a potential Howard deal, with the centerpieces likely being All-Star center Al Horford and underrated point guard Jeff Teague. Any deal with Orlando would force the Hawks to release Horford, who has just barely come back from a season-ending injury. 

While it seems logical for the Magic to make this trade (Horford is obviously an upgrade over Lopez), it is not very logical for the Hawks.

They would be giving up a proven commodity who's likely to remain with the team for the long haul for a superstar center who has publicly stated that he would only sign an extension with the Brooklyn Nets. 

So is there really any point in giving up Al Horford for that?

I don't think so. 

What the Hawks would receive is a one-year commitment from an already disgruntled superstar who's bound to leave them in free agency. Not only would he only be there for only one year, but it's possible Howard would never really and truly commit to the organization, as his sights will be set on Brooklyn anyway.

While he may enjoy playing with Josh Smith for a year, there's no guarantee he'll want to stay for the long run. Sure, his hometown is in the Atlanta area, but we all saw what happened with the "hometown argument" with Deron Williams and the Dallas Mavericks. 

Plus, there's no question that the Hawks would love to avoid any of the drama that Dwight would almost definitely bring to the table. The Cavs may have had it bad a few years ago with LeBron James, but the Orlando Magic have had it insanely worse. Once a popular staple in Orlando, Magic fans are now calling for Howard to leave and never come back.

Atlanta should not want any piece of that pie. 

Also, Danny Ferry is still in good graces with the fans in Atlanta. With Atlanta parting with disappointing and misused Marvin Williams and unloading the ridiculous Joe Johnson contract, Ferry has come across as a genius. He already seems like he knows what he's doing, dismantling a roster that never really competed for much more than a second-round playoff berth. 

A Dwight Howard "one-year rental" would not be doing him any favors in the long run. It's a deal that must be avoided if Atlanta wants to return to prominence any time soon.

And any return to prominence for them must revolve around Al Horford.