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.
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.
Horford would turn 35 in the final year of his contract, which would pay him $32.7 million. 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 amount to one of the richest contracts in the NBA -- has the Hawks' brass a bit skittish.
Al Horford knows his name is being mentioned in the trade speculation so prevalent at this time of the season. The Hawks center doesn’t concern himself with such talk. “I think my priority and my focus is on the team and to keep play and do what I do,” Horford said Wednesday morning before the Hawks played at the 76ers. “This is my team. I feel like Atlanta is my home so my focus is on the team. I’m not going to pay attention to all of that.”
“I haven’t heard anything from the organization,” he said. “For me, my priority is to focus on the team. My task is in front of me.” Horford is in his ninth season with the Hawks after joining the team as a 21-year old following being drafted No. 3 overall in 2007. This is the first time he’s had to hear his name involved in trade rumors to such an extent. “Honestly, no,” Horford said when asked if he is bothered by such talk. “I don’t really read any of the stuff. I’m sure there is a lot of speculation going on but I learned, early in the league since I got here, to leave all the media outlets alone."
The Hawks can put together a strong offer from a financial and familiarity standpoint, but are expected to listen to teams that inquire about Horford because they don’t want to risk losing him for nothing, league sources said. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 18.
Atlanta owns Horford’s Bird rights, which allows it to offer more than any other team. The Hawks are interested in re-signing Horford, but at what price remains to be seen. "Al is a big part of our program and knows how much we value him,” Mike Budenholzer told Yahoo Sports. “Our focus and job remain the same, and that is building the best program possible and establishing a culture that Al and any other player would want to be part of. He is the type of player we want to continue building with now and into the future.”
The Celtics have inquired about Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague and power forward Al Horford, CSNNE’s Chris Mannix said on the network’s broadcast of Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic. “Atlanta, I’ve been told, is ready to turn the page, to give the team to Dennis Schroeder, their young point guard, who is ready to step up and be a starter,” Mannix said. “Teague is available because Teague has some value. He has another year left on his contract, about $8 million per year, and teams across the league are looking to get him.”
“I’ve heard that Boston’s inquired about several players with Atlanta, Teague and Al Horford,” Mannix added. “Teague might seem like a weird fit with this team because they already have point guards, but he is an asset, He’s someone the Celtics could be interested in. “Horford, a little more difficult. It would be a gamble going after Al Horford because Al Horford is in the last year of his deal and he’s going to command a salary north of $20 million next year. But as we know and as I just said, (president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge is a gambling GM. He could make a move like that, too.”
Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Vertical Podcast that the Atlanta Hawks could "push the reset button" and All-Stars like Jeff Teague and Al Horford could be available closer to the trade deadline. With the Boston Celtics reportedly looking to make moves consolidating assets for an impact player, Horford seems like a player they could pursue.
"Danny Ainge is out on the hunt for a star, and trying to figure out what that means -- what a star is. One team that I think is really at a crossroads talking to teams is the Atlanta Hawks," Wojnarowski said, adding that the Hawks have tried to gauge the value of Teague. "Al Horford is a free agent this summer. They're not sure he's going to stay, whether they're going to keep him. There's a chance this Atlanta team pushes the reset button here at some point."
Hawks sources found the notion of trading Horford laughable, pointing to how important he was to the team dynamic in Atlanta and that he’s a core guy in Mike Budenholzer’s system.
September 17, 2021 | 5:16 pm EDT Update
The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
The word in Spanish basketball circles, as reiterated to me Friday, is that Marc Gasol is most likely to play for Girona if he decides to play on, even though the LEB Oro is one level below Spain’s top tier. I’m told he has been working out with new Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio to stay sharp even after negotiating his release earlier this week from Memphis following the Grizzlies’ recent trade with the Lakers to take on the final year of Gasol’s last NBA contract.
Ballots for the NBA’s 75th anniversary team were due back to the league office today. The league previously announced that the official list of its 75 greatest players, as selected by “a blue-ribbon panel of media, current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives,” will be revealed in October. The voters will also be revealed — not their full individual ballots but the names of those who made the selections.
September 17, 2021 | 3:51 pm EDT Update
After securing the arrival of Mario Hezonja, Russian team UNICS Kazan will announce soon the signing of former NBA guard OJ Mayo.
UNICS Kazan is adding one more marquee name to its roster with O.J.Mayo having a one-year deal with the Russian club. While there’s no signed contract yet, that seems to be more a formality delayed by bureaucratic reasons.
Chris Grenham: Former Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin tells me he worked out with Celtics this week. There is no training camp agreement between Boston and Goodwin yet, but there is interest from both sides. Goodwin played in 47 games with Atlanta last year, averaging 4.9 points and 2.0 assists.