NBA rumors: Sixers to move Al Horford?

Short of a deep and surprising run in the playoffs, where do the Sixers go from here? Though the Sixers did not try to move Horford at the trade deadline, that might be a possibility in the off-season – if they can send that contract to another team and get shooting in return – a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about Philadelphia’s plans.

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"There's a lot of bad contracts they could have traded him for. The Sixers would have traded Al Horford for him, but why would Cleveland do that? They want expiring money and picks," the former GM said. "Portland could have made a deal work, but for what? They would have really had to look at their cap space and tax money for next year and asked how far a trade for Love would really push them. Would it make them a top-four seed in the West? I don't think so."
Wojnarowski said: I think the hard part for them, and they’ve acknowledged it, how do they stack together contracts and picks to bring back an established player? You look at their roster and you go OK, they don’t want to trade Al Horford. They brought Al Horford in there because they wanted his size. They’re trying to beat Milwaukee. They want to beat the Bucks to win the East and they need size to do that and they need Al Horford to do that.
Embiid’s injury puts Al Horford in position to be what he came to Philadelphia for: big man insurance, although it doesn’t seem like the best allocation of $100 million in resources to be a replacement. But if Embiid isn’t right, the 76ers are relatively easy fodder in the postseason. There’s no substitute for him, hence Horford’s name being whispered in trade circles with the deadline a little less than a month away.
One front office source told me that he believes Horford and Harris aren’t any more tradable than CP3; if teams don’t want to take on Horford or Harris, it would be tough for the Sixers to cobble together the salaries to make a deal work for any of the fantasy trade targets like Paul or Kyle Lowry or Jrue Holiday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Atlanta's expressing its intentions to rivals that Hawks plan to keep team intact at deadline, holding onto Horford and key guards.
The pick would not be in play for Al Horford, but that matter seems moot anyway. The C’s have had no recent talks with Atlanta about him, and, in addition to what the Hawks might want should they move him, it is clear from sources that the Celts are not willing to pay the 6-foot-10 center big money when he becomes a free agent in the summer.
The Atlanta Hawks have not made a decision on whether they will trade Al Horford but a league source tells CSNNE.com that the Boston Celtics have emerged as one of the favorites to land him if the Hawks decide to part ways with the veteran forward. Horford, a four-time All-Star, is in the final year of a five-year, $60 million deal that pays him $12 million for this final season.
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.
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.
The Celts do have interest in both Love and Horford; the question is price. And the expectation continues to be that, while the C’s would go higher for Love than Horford, their present teams want more than Ainge will give.
Chris Mannix: According to a couple of executives, Atlanta is not really serious about trading Teague or Horford. They're just looking for one of those Godfather-type of deals.
Horford on being mentioned in trade rumors: It is new. But as a basketball player you go through a lot of different stages. You have to deal with some injuries, you have to deal with a bad team... This is a new thing that I haven't experienced."
To put it politely, the league is skeptical this is anything more than a Hawks fishing expedition designed to gin up one crazy offer for Horford. Wes Wilcox, Atlanta's GM, is asking teams to "wow" him, sources say, and no one is biting. The Hawks may not be fretting as much as it seems about Horford walking. Horford will look around, and he likes the idea of playing in a bigger media market with a larger Dominican population, per several sources familiar with the matter. But he also cherishes the continuity Atlanta has built, and the Hawks understand he is the keystone to their culture of selflessnes. If the Hawks keep Horford into the summer, they will have that extra fifth year in the quiver.
Horford is a different story. It would take almost everything in the Toronto's arsenal to get him, but if they manage it, the Raps would have a good chance of re-signing him, sources say. Still, such a bold move is unlikely.
Willie: Where does Horford and Teague get traded to? - Steve Kyler: Not sure Atlanta has decided. Al told me last night he really wants to stay but has no sense of what Hawks will do.
AJ: You think they would of Horford says he would resign? - Steve Kyler: Given what Al said last night not sold he'd do anything to help himself get traded. He wants to stay.
Fred Wright: Why would hawks want to move big Al for he must want the max and the hawks dont want to give him the max. - Steve Kyler: Thats not decided yet - they have been pretty open that moving on from Al Horford would be a basketball decision not money.
AJ: Does Al Horford get traded to the Celtics? - Steve Kyler: Far from decided. I was told Celtics not willing to give real assets for a rental.
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.
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."
"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.
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 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.
League sources peg Horford as a player teams will call about all the way up to the trade deadline, but the stance from the Hawks has him as somewhat untouchable.
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Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

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