HoopsHype Al Horford rumors

December 27, 2013 Updates
December 10, 2013 Updates

The hidden impact of the Gay deal is that we're suddenly down to just 10 names in the entire league who are even eligible to be released via the amnesty clause next July. And when you read those 10 names you'll understand why Boozer and Perkins, now that Salmons has been dealt, are realistically the last two who can generate any legitimate amnesty speculation until the next collective bargaining agreement. They are: Atlanta's Al Horford; Boston's Rajon Rondo; Chicago's Boozer and Joakim Noah; Memphis' Mike Conley and Zach Randolph; Oklahoma City's Nick Collison, Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins; San Antonio's Tony Parker. ESPN.com

December 6, 2013 Updates
November 26, 2013 Updates

Horford, a 27-year-old veteran center of the Atlanta Hawks who is averaging 17.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks so far in the 2013-14 NBA season, plans on being with the squad in 2014. "God willing," Horford said, "I will represent the country at the World Cup. It's only a question of me being healthy. I feel very proud to represent my country." FIBA.com

November 20, 2013 Updates
November 8, 2013 Updates
October 28, 2013 Updates

Horford and the Hawks have, albeit not at a championship level. So, how patient can he be while Ferry's and Budenholzer's regime takes hold? "That's a very fair question," Horford said by phone Friday afternoon. "I do realize that, and I do want to win. I do want to be in a really good position to compete. I wonder. I do wonder what's going to be our next move as a team. But for now, all I can focus on is this team, this year. But absolutely -- I want to compete. I want to be part of a winning, successful, championship team. I do trust that Danny's moving in the right direction, but like you said, I have been in seven years already. Some things are going to have to happen the next few years." NBA.com

Understand: Horford is not making a threat, or a demand, even. It's as if he's pointing out today is Monday. It's an observation. Which is good news for the Hawks, because Ferry has no interest in starting over by dealing the Hawks' key pieces. Horford is a lynchpin. "We certainly respect Al's value to our program," Ferry texted Sunday. "He is a high level basketball player, teammate and person. I am excited to see his continued growth as one of our leaders under Coach Bud." NBA.com

Horford has two years left on the five-year, $60 million extension he got from Atlanta in 2010. He can see his former University of Florida teammate, Joakim Noah, with a similar deal in Chicago -- and with Derrick Rose. He can see the Heat and the Knicks and the Nets, loaded up with multiple stars, trying to win now -- and the Cavaliers and Wizards of the east getting better. The Hawks are good, but not great. Horford is patient. For now. "My bigger challenge is, as you know, half of our team is new," he says. "And a lot of the key pieces that we had in the past are gone. It's been a matter of me, as much as we can, practicing together, and in games, starting to learn that chemistry, learning to play off of one another. For me, it's a transition I'm still working on. But I feel like we're making progress." NBA.com

Horford hasn't spent a lot of time taking to Ferry about his vision of building the team. "But I see his vision in a way," Horford said. "He wants us to be a team that plays with more pace, that plays faster, very similar to how San Antonio played. To me, as far as players' vision, I don't really, Danny and I don't really talk about that. To me, I'm just kind of focusing on what we have now. I'm sure when the time comes, he'll talk to me about certain issues, what we should do with the team." NBA.com

"It's just a different style of play," Horford said. "Before, we were running a lot, pretty much running all over the play, pretty free, tempo, running the break. With Bud, we can run, but he wants us to be more organized about it. To me, it's taking time knowing where I can run the floor hard, or when I'm supposed to be back, because I'm the second big. Offensively, it's taking me time to get adjusted to that, making sure I'm running in my lane. He wants the guards to be out wide, and if they're out wide, we can kind of attack that way. So that's something that it's taking time for me to adjust to." NBA.com

Adjustments -- that horror of a word -- are nonetheless the essence of the NBA. During seasons, during games, and especially during playoff series, players have to toss what isn't working and change on the fly. It's easier when a team hasn't won or had success, though. Horford and the Hawks have, albeit not at a championship level. So, how patient can he be while Ferry's and Budenholzer's regime takes hold? "That's a very fair question," Horford said by phone Friday afternoon. "I do realize that, and I do want to win. I do want to be in a really good position to compete. I wonder. I do wonder what's going to be our next move as a team. But for now, all I can focus on is this team, this year. But absolutely -- I want to compete. I want to be part of a winning, successful, championship team. I do trust that Danny's moving in the right direction, but like you said, I have been in seven years already. Some things are going to have to happen the next few years." NBA.com

October 22, 2013 Updates
October 18, 2013 Updates

So naturally, I wanted to put that theory to the test. Is that, in fact, the generally agreed upon totem pole these days? It doesn't appear to be the case. I asked six front-office executives, reached via text message and granted anonymity to inspire honesty and avoid tampering charges, to rank the best centers in the NBA. The results: Executive No. 1: Marc Gasol, Noah, Lopez, Hibbert, Howard, Omer Asik. Executive No. 2: Howard, Gasol, Noah, Hibbert, Cousins. Executive No. 3: Howard, Gasol, Hibbert, Noah, Andrew Bogut, Lopez, Tyson Chandler, Chris Bosh, Al Horford Executive No. 4: Noah, Gasol, Hibbert, Anderson Varejao, Howard Executive No. 5: Howard, Gasol, Nikola Pekovic, Noah, Lopez Executive No. 6: Howard, Lopez, Gasol, Tim Duncan, Noah, Cousins, Jonas Valanciunas. USA Today Sports

September 3, 2013 Updates

"It makes very happy because Al Horford, another Latino, is there," Ayon said. "I've spoken to him some when I've played against him and find him to be a good guy. I hope to have a good chemistry and aside from that he's a very well-respected player inside the NBA and he can teach me a lot of things." ESPN.com

August 10, 2013 Updates

Dominican Al Horford won’t be playing for the national team at the FIBA Americas being held this summer, the Dominican Republic Basketball Federation finally confirmed. According to a press release, Horford will be participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program later this month, while also preparing for the next NBA season. Dominican Today

July 26, 2013 Updates

It's not a surprise, yet the announcement by the Dominican Republic Basketball Federation that Al Horford won't play for the national team this summer is nevertheless painful. When one of the best big men in the NBA, a player who has been outstanding for the Dominicans the past few years, decides he's not going to play at the FIBA Americas Championship, it's never good news. TalkBasket

July 18, 2013 Updates
July 15, 2013 Updates

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