Of all the All-Stars who actually had cause to face up to trade questions ahead of Thursday’s deadline, Atlanta’s Al Horford was the most realistic to be involved in a deal. Horford left an All-Star break vacation to be in Toronto, a late fill-in for the injured Chris Bosh, but arrived as his name was being wrung through the rumor mill. Horford is a free agent this summer, and though the Hawks could lose him for nothing, a league source told Sporting News that he has not sought a trade or informed the Hawks he would not stay in Atlanta. The same source said the Hawks are not actively shopping Horford, either.
The Boston Celtics are widely believed to be a potential fit as a Horford trade partner, but the real level of interest from general manager Danny Ainge remains to be seen in the coming days. And while Horford continues to speak positively about the city and his situation, there’s an inherent uncertainty to this process that always acts as the driving force. “I’m very happy in Atlanta,” Horford said when asked if the Hawks had reason to be concerned that he might leave. “I’ve said it repeatedly. I love the city. My family, we all live in Atlanta, we stay there in the offseason, so my focus is just to keep playing and taking it day by day and, right now, it’s to enjoy this weekend. … Just taking it day by day. That’s the only thing I can do. We really can’t worry about three or four months from now.”
The Hawks are once again in the postseason mix, sitting fourth in the East at the break. So why break up a team that is riding a wave of success -- and one that, with former Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer, has become the latest to embrace and attempt to emulate the San Antonio way? Multiple executives with teams around the league confirmed to CBS Sports that the Hawks have, in fact, been calling teams to assess interest in All-Stars Al Horford and Jeff Teague.
Sirius XM NBA: "Anything the Hawks are doing right now is exploratory, they aren't shopping Al Horford". @Chris Vivlamore
D Tilsner: Have you heard anything about a Horford trade? Him & KAT make too much sense together. Obviously wed have to max out Horford. - Darren Wolfson: LOVE him. Told the Wolves haven't tried yet. Hard to trade for w/o knowing if he'd sign here long-term.
The Celtics have been linked to Rockets center Dwight Howard and Hawks forward Al Horford, both of whom could be available on the trade market. But sources said the Celtics are unlikely to acquire either player before Thursday’s deadline.
Chris Mannix believes Horford would be a perfect fit with the Celtics, but the price tag might be standing in the way. “From everything I’ve been told in the last two or three days, Atlanta’s requests for both Al Horford and Jeff Teague have been borderline ridiculous,” explained Mannix. “The kind of things teams like Boston, or Milwaukee, or Denver simply won’t deal for the players they want.
The Celtics have been rumored as a possible destination for Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, but Ainge threw a bit of cold water on that idea. Despite a batch of recent reports saying the Hawks could consider drastic changes, Ainge said he believes they will keep their core intact. "I will just remind you that 'according to reports' is the key phrase there," he said. "There's a lot of motivations that teams have. Sometimes it's just to see what the value of their players are, and by leaking things like that you can find maybe what people are willing to offer. Typically when you do that and you leak out that you're willing to move your team or break up your team and start over, you don't really get -- people are looking for bargains. They're not going to give you the best deal. So my feeling is Atlanta will stay intact. They may make a trade or two but I don't think they're going to lose their key guys."
During the Boston Celtics pregame show Tuesday night, CSNNE's Chris Mannix said he believes the team is "very much in the mix" to acquire Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford.
"I think Boston -- Al Horford is a legitimate possibility for the Celtics," Mannix said on CSNNE. "I think that is the guy, one of the guys across the league that Danny Ainge is the most excited about. He is a 4-man that would fit right into what Boston is trying to do. It will cost a lot of money to re-sign him in the offseason, but I think Boston's willing to pay it because they haven't paid a lot of money for players in recent years."
Andrew: Any truth to this?: Magic and Hawks have had significant trade talks regarding Al Horford. - Steve Kyler: Magic are one of the teams interested, not sure I would call anything "significant" at this point.
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 22, 2021 | 7:42 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Tamika Tremaglio of @DeloitteUS has now been officially selected as @TheNBPA ‘s new executive director to succeed Michele Roberts, according to a leading television network. Roberts told @VinceGoodwill in July she was leaving the post within six months after her eight-year run.
Marc Stein: The union makes it official and announces Tamika L. Tremaglio, “trusted advisor and consultant” to @TheNBPA since 2012, as its next Executive Director. Tremaglio will succeed Michele Roberts “upon her retirement at the end of the year.”