That means any team acquiring him via trade runs the ri…

That means any team acquiring him via trade runs the risk of him being an end-of-the-season rental player with Horford set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Boston would still take that risk, but there would most likely be some reassurances before the deal is consummated that the 29-year-old Horford (He’ll be 30 in June) would be strongly considering re-signing with the Celtics for what would most likely be a near-max contract.

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The Heat likes Horford and acquiring him would give Miami a clear advantage in signing him as a free agent this summer, because (as ESPN noted), Horford values the fifth year of a contract, which is something that only his incumbent team could give him, with other suitors limited to four-year offers.
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.
Which one is your favorite city: your hometown of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; where you attended high school in Grand Ledge, Michigan; college town of Gainesville, Florida or Atlanta? Al Horford: Oh, my. Well, let's see ... Each and every one of those cities possess that emotional value for me, but I would have to say Atlanta is where I have been the longest in my life until now and where I achieved my dream (of playing in the NBA).
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.
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, a three-time All-Star, is making $12 million in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent this off-season. Atlanta can offer Horford a maximum five-year, $146 million contract, which Horford is seeking, a source told Yahoo Sports.
There is a sense among NBA insiders that a hefty offer could steal Horford away from the Hawks, especially if the team continues to regress from their record setting form from last season.
Lastly, I know you've said you're waiting after the season to figure out your contract situation. What led you to that decision? [Horford will be a free agent in 2016.] Horford: For me, I'm very happy in Atlanta. It's one of those things where I don't want any contract talks to be a distraction for my team and me. I feel like my focus this year is for us to build and be better. Since we can't do anything right now, we'll wait until the season's over and then we can start talking about all that.
“My focus right now is to get better individually and help our team be the best team that we can be,” Horford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday. “I have the same mindset and that is to help our team win and put us in a good position and try to be better. As far as the contract stuff, I’m going to wait until the season is over. I’m not going to let that linger and be a distraction. The focus is to be on the Hawks, on our team and getting better. Once the season ends, we’ll be able to sit down and talk and figure out all of that.”
Storyline: Al Horford Free Agency
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