The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly made a serious bid for All-Star small forward Paul George at the trade deadline last February, per a report by ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst. The Hawks, who were competing at that time for the top-4 slots in the Eastern Conference, reached out to the Indiana Pacers front-office with the hope of working out a blockbuster deal involving George. In the end, then president of basketball operations Larry Bird decided to keep George past the trade deadline.

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The Hawks aren’t a big market team like the Boston Celtics or the Los Angeles Lakers, but are very much capable of presenting a strong offer for George, should the Pacers pursue trading him this off-season.

Aside from their future picks, the Hawks are in possession of Cleveland’s 2019 first-round (Kyle Korver trade) and Minnesota’s 2018 first-round selection (Adreian Payne trade).

Hoops Rumors writer Chris Crouse thinks the Hawks could have pulled off the deal with various combinations of the draft picks. However, one of the roadblocks in the botched George trade was the Hawks’ inability to spice up the trade package by attaching a promising young player to it. Other than starting point guard Dennis Schroder, Atlanta’s youngsters are Kent Bazemore, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Taurean Prince – none of these players would pique the curiosity of the Pacers’ top brass.

With the Lakers and the Celtics now boasting the top-2 pick in this year’s draft, it won’t be ideal for the Hawks to enter a bidding war with these assets-rich ball clubs.

That leaves re-signing Paul Millsap and Hardaway Jr. as the top priority for the team this off-season.

Dwight needs ball on offense

Da’Vonte Hughes of Soaring Down South believes one of the reasons why Dwight Howard’s first season in Atlanta didn’t end up well is the lack of touches he received on the offensive end.

The Hawks coaching staff was clearly disinterested in making Howard - who signed a $23 million per year deal last summer - one of their offensive options last season.

“The problem is, whenever Dwight has sealed off his man the ball doesn’t come his way. It appears that he is the last option on offense, even when he is the only clear option to score on some possessions,” Hughes noted.

The Hawks beat writer added that Howard has all the rights to be frustrated with his current situation. At 31-years old, Howard is still more than capable of putting up big numbers like he did with the Orlando Magic a few years ago. Before the drama in L.A and futile three seasons in Houston, Howard was a legit double-double guy who averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds a game. Hughes is confident Howard can recapture his old mojo as long as head coach Mike Budenholzer puts him in position to score next season.

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