Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Hawks are right to want Durant, but signing him remains a longshot


One month ago, in a blog that was headlined , "Hawks dreaming of Kevin Durant but OKC may be his best option," I wrote the following paragraph:

"The Hawks, led by owner Tony Ressler, are expected to make a strong push for Durant. A front line with Durant, Paul Millsap and Al Horford would make the Hawks an immediate title contender, regardless of what decisions they make in the backcourt with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder. But several teams — particularly Miami, Boston and San Antonio — will try to convince Durant that he’s the final piece to their title hopes. I’m not sure the Hawks are in any better position than those teams."

I bring this up now because ESPN's Marc Stein has written a blog titled, "Hawks also want to get involved in Kevin Durant sweepstakes."

He's quotes sources. So maybe Stein spoke to the same people I spoke to a month ago.

I have no illusions that Durant will sign with the Hawks. But it would at least look good if they could convince Durant to meet with them, as our Chris Vivlamore is reporting , because the Hawks' status as a destination team for free agents -- or even a team they will consider -- is uncertain. I still believe, as I wrote in late May, that Durant will re-sign with Oklahoma City.

The Hawks hope to leverage executive Grant Hill's long-time friendship with Durant into a meeting. I'm sure part of the pitch will be, "We're not title contenders now, but with you we will be." And from there they can sell Atlanta as a city and any connections to the business and entertainment industries that the Hawks and owner Tony Ressler have access to.

But can the Hawks make a stronger pitch than Golden State, San Antonio, Boston or others? Are the Hawks legitimately in the Big Free Agent business? I'll explore this further in a column on MyAJC.com posted later.

UPDATE: Here's a link to my full column on MyAJC.com

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.