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Hawks, Pelicans Discussed Howard
Thursday, Jan. 19
Per ESPN.com's Zach Lowe, the Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans had exploratory trade discussions about Howard after the two teams played each other Jan. 5, but this was before Atlanta "pulled everyone off the market."
The Pelicans' interest in Howard was the result of exploring options to move Anthony Davis off the center position, reducing the physical stress that position takes on his body.
However, Lowe did note it's unclear how much interest the Pelicans actually had in Howard, and the team did not have "unanimous support" in potentially acquiring the eight-time All-Star.
The Hawks have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games to put their season record at 24-18, fourth place in the Eastern Conference. That hasn't stopped the front office from making bold moves, though.
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The team traded Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 7 as the Hawks were in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. Mo Williams, who was acquired in the Korver trade, was dealt to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
The difference in this case is Howard is signed through 2018-19, whereas Korver's contract expires at the end of this season. Howard is also from Atlanta, and his signing with the Hawks was a homecoming after stints with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
Howard is having a solid season for the Hawks with 13.7 points, 13 rebounds per game and a team-high 4.5 win shares, per Basketball-Reference.com.
With the Hawks still looking up at the Cavs, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics in the East, exploring bold steps to acquire future assets isn't a bad idea. It doesn't sound like Howard is going anywhere right now, but there's still five weeks before the trade deadline for things to change.