So, the Hawks should definitely be pushing Dwight Howard to sign with Houston.
If that happened, Omer Asik would become expendable, and we know that both Dwight and the Rockets like Josh Smith — that’s the perfect setup for a sign-and-trade by which Houston gets another piece (with Howard and James Harden) for a championship core and the Hawks get a few valuable assets (Asik plus, say, Terrence Jones and a future, lottery-protected #1?) in their attempt to rebuild the franchise.
Atlanta would, in this scenario, be looking at a roster of Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Al Horford, Asik, John Jenkins, Jones, Mike Scott, Shelvin Mack, and whatever ~$15 million in remaining cap space could buy. They could re-sign ZaZa Pachulia and add Beno Udrih and Corey Brewer or some other credible veteran combination. Whatever they do, as long as they’re not wasting that cap space on a long-term overpay — I’m looking at you, Andre Iguodala — they could set themselves up to be solid for a while, and possibly very good in a couple of years, when the young players have had a chance to mature and they’ve gone through that loaded 2014 free-agency period with some money to spend. For the first time in a long time, at least they’d be interesting
Leave LA, Dwight; the Rockets and Hawks need you in Houston.