Hawks president says letter was an “unfortunate mistake”The Atlanta Hawks have risked violating the NBA’s tampering policy by mentioning trade targets Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in a sales letter sent out to fans urging them to buy tickets for next season.
While the Hawks are expected to pursue the duo when free-agency begins on July 1, they may well have jumped the gun slightly by mentioning both Paul and Howard in the letter.
The Los Angeles Clippers point guard and Lakers big man are named as genuine targets this summer, and it is suggested that player interest in joining the Hawks is “sky-rocketing” as a result.
Nevertheless, Hawks president Bob Williams has responded following the error, and has called it an “unfortunate mistake” as teams are not allowed to discuss free agent targets until the period begins as effectively players are still under contract with their respective franchises.
Atlanta have just three players under contract that are guaranteed to still be with the franchise at the start of next season, and it is expected that they will make various moves to make enough cap room to afford both Paul and Howard.
The latter is an Atlanta native, and has been receptive to the idea of moving back home after an indifferent first season in Los Angeles.
The pair have spoken previously about joining forces, but with Paul at the Clippers and Howard joining their rivals the Lakers last summer, it appeared an impossible feat.
However, the possibility has now opened up again, although it remains to be see whether the NBA decide to take further action against the Hawks for their premature declarations.