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Dwight Howard Trade Saga: Could Atlanta Hawks Lure Howard 'Home?'

The Dwight Howard saga shows no signs of ending anytime soon - the embattled Orlando Magic big man was at the heart of several failed trades over the last two months, and will be a free agent following next season.

HoopsWorld is speculating that while teams like Brooklyn, Dallas and the Lakers are frontrunners, Atlanta isn't out of the question entirely for Howard, who was born and raised in the city. Along with Howard, current Hawk Josh Smith is a native Atlantan who would love to welcome Howard back home:

Smith, who also grew up in Atlanta, has known Howard since preschool. They joke that they’ve been balling together since they were in diapers. The two boys remained friends as they completed grade after grade and started developing into the physical specimens we see today. They formed one of the best AAU duos in the nation and talked about someday playing together in the NBA. When Smith got married two years ago, Howard was the best man in his wedding. Smith admits that he would love to reunite with Howard in Atlanta.

As trade talks have seemed to stymie completely, the Hawks' best shot at Howard would be to wait out the coming season and clear cap space - something they've started in large part to trading Joe Johnson and his huge cap number to Brooklyn.

For more on the Hawks check out Peachtree Hoops. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.