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Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Al Horford Surprised By Trade Talk

After an initial report that the Atlanta Hawks had engaged in trade talks with with the Orlando Magic involving Dwight Howard, Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham weighed in on the original report that the trade with Atlanta was centering around Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.

Cunningham confirmed that trade talks between the two teams had taken place but that it was unlikely that Josh Smith was a part of them. Cunningham further cites that the Hawks would be reluctant to include Smith because of the hope that the presence of his child-hood friend would entice Howard to sign a long-term extension with the club. That would leave the deal to center around either Johnson and or center Al Horford.

In a recent interview with ESPN Radio, Horford was asked about the rumors and was genuinely taken aback.

"Wow," Horford said. "I guess I'm heading back to Florida. ... I don't know, that's interesting, I know that Dwight is from here, but as far as I know, this is the first I've heard of it. But it'll be interesting."

The two-time All-Star Horford would seem more appealing to the Magic due to his University of Florida roots and the fact that while he is somewhat undersized, he does have experience playing the center position.

It is also important to note that the Atlanta Hawks are not on Howard's list of preferred destinations and any trade would presumably happen without an assurance that Howard would re-sign with the club.

Stay up to date with the Dwight Howard rumors by visiting this StoryStream. For more on the Atlanta Hawks check out Peachtree Hoops and for more on the Orlando Magic check out Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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