David Pick: Alexey Shved has turned down Knicks offer and is weighing return to Europe, said agent Obrad Fimic.
February 9, 2016 | 5:26 pm EST Update
Sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking say that Hawks management and ownership have conceded internally that unless Atlanta can recapture the magic of last season’s run — when it went 60-22 and claimed the East’s top seed — this season’s team is a fringe contender.
This realization has prompted Atlanta to think long and hard about Horford, who is in the final year of a five-year, $60 million contract extension. The Hawks must decide whether to re-sign their big man to a hefty five-year deal, or try to move him now while they can get value.
If the Hawks decide to test the market for Horford, numerous teams would potentially show interest. Sources inform ESPN that the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Magic have been the most aggressive in looking to acquire a veteran difference maker. The expectation is a robust market for Horford, who will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time this summer after nine seasons with the Hawks.
Because of the anticipated demand, Horford is likely to receive offers up to the maximum amount, which would be $144.5 million over five years should he stay with the Hawks. Under that kind of contract, Horford would turn 35 (and would earn $32.7 million) in the final year of the deal. Sources say that while ownership has pledged to both spend and to entrust the Hawks’ basketball minds to make basketball decisions, that figure, along with the overall tab — which would be one of the richest contracts in the NBA — has the Hawks’ brass a bit skittish. Should Horford remain with the Hawks through the conclusion of the season, a rival team could offer him a maximum of four years and $107.3 million.
The Hawks have been gauging the market for point guard Teague, who has started 345 games for Atlanta over the past four and a half seasons. Sources say the Indiana Pacers have made inquiries and have dangled guard George Hill as a possible swap. The Magic are also potential suitors for Teague, sources confirmed.
A persistent hip injury to Tiago Splitter will also factor into the Hawks’ strategy as sources say the reserve center is seeking opinions and considering surgery. Whatever his course of treatment, Splitter will be out for an extended period. His absence is very problematic for a Hawks team that ranks last in the league in rebounding rate and is thin on its front line.