NBA Rumor: Al Horford Trade?

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Al Horford on a potential trade: Anything is possible

The right offer of cap flexibility and draft picks could have Horford relocating. Horford understand this. He says Presti has been up front with him. “I think anything is possible,” says Horford. “But I’m not going to dwell on [any trade talk] too much.” And it’s worth noting the Thunder are in no hurry to deal him. Oklahoma City has one of the NBA’s lowest payrolls. And they see value in keeping Horford around. He insists he is satisfied with his situation—and thrilled to get the chance to wipe the memory of last season away.

Horford has warmed to Oklahoma City quickly. He appreciated the straightforwardness of Thunder GM Sam Presti. “He just told me he wanted me to come in here and have an impact in the culture here in the locker room,” Horford says. “Just everything that I’m about, to bring it over here.” And he marveled at the lengths the organization will go to for players. “I’ve been in different places, but this is just a very special place,” Horford says. “And I had no idea. From afar, I’ve always seen Oklahoma City and the Thunder as a good organization, but I didn’t realize how special it is here.”

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired Danny Green, Terrance Ferguson and Vincent Poirier (pour-ee-ay) from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford, a 2025 protected first-round pick and the draft rights to Théo Maledon (No. 34 selection in 2020 NBA Draft) and Vasilije Micić (No. 52 selection in 2014 NBA Draft). The 2025 first-round pick is protected for pick Nos. 1-6, and if the pick does not convey in 2025, it will be protected for pick Nos. 1-4 in both 2026 and 2027. If not conveyed in the first round of the 2025, 2026 or 2027 drafts, the pick will be a 2027 second-round selection.

I took the question of Horford’s trade value to a veteran team executive. “I would be shocked if he has value,” the exec said. “They might have to include an asset for someone to take him off their books. He has not looked good this year. His movement, it just seems a step slow, on both ends. I think they have to try to trade him. He obviously can’t play with Embiid. The goal should be to divide that salary over a couple of players and make them deeper. But I don’t know how they are going to do that.”

The Sixers likely will have a tough time moving his contract. Horford’s 11.7 scoring average is the lowest since his second year with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2008-09 season (11.5). “All I can say is I am focused on right now,” Horford told The Inquirer in response to the report. “I can’t control speculation. That is a decision they would have to make when the time is right. “Right now, I am focused on getting some wins for our team.”

The Sixers likely will have a tough time moving his contract. Horford’s 11.7 scoring average is the lowest since his second year with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2008-09 season (11.5). “All I can say is I am focused on right now,” Horford told The Inquirer in response to the report. “I can’t control speculation. That is a decision they would have to make when the time is right. “Right now, I am focused on getting some wins for our team.”

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.

“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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

Celtics interested in Jeff Teague and Al Horford

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.”

“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.”
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