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As Dwight Howard signs with Hawks, first domino falls for Celtics to add Al Horford

Howard's going to Atlanta ... could Horford to Boston be next?

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Dwight Howard is on his way to the Hawks on a three-year, $70.5 million deal, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania. This has major implications on the Boston Celtics, as they're meeting with Hawks free-agent center Al Horford on Friday night.

Evan Turner previously told the Boston Globe that Danny Ainge "seemed confident" at the Celtics' chances of signing Horford, so this news should only bolster the team's level of confidence.

The Hawks are far less likely to retain Horford after signing Howard, and the Rockets are also the only other team that has been reported to have a meeting with Horford. That makes the Celtics the likely favorite for the All-Star center.

The Celtics are bringing Isaiah Thomas to their meeting with Horford on Friday, and they plan on offering a max contract. Logic suggests they'll likely be pushing for an agreement ahead of Saturday's date in The Hamptons with Kevin Durant. Horford and Durant reportedly would like to play with each other, so he'd give them another recruiter to push the future Hall of Famer to sign with Boston.

The Suns tried a similar approach last summer by signing Tyson Chandler and bringing him to their meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge. They had Aldridge in the bag until he changed his mind during the 48 hours between their meeting and his decision.

If the Celtics do add Horford, they'll be looking for better results, of course.

Kevin O'Connor can be contacted on Facebook and Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.