Al Horford is on the trading block.
But maybe not.
However if he is… which he’s not right now… the Celtics are apparently in the lead to get him.
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.
The Hawks, apparently, haven’t even really decided yet if Horford is available at all. They’re the 4th seed in the East right now, a game behind Boston. They’re still a good team that could easily make the Eastern Conference Finals.
However Horford will be a free agent. He’ll also turn 30 in June which is no big deal right now, but it gives people pause when it comes to offering a potential 5-year maximum deal.
Almost everyone will have money to spend this summer, and Horford will be an attractive free agent regardless of all this. The team that holds his Bird Rights (which go with him in a trade) can offer a 5-year deal with 7.5% raises while an outside team can only offer 4-years at 4.5% raises. Is he worth that kind of money?
I guess it depends on what kind of offer the Celtics will give Atlanta. What combination of players and picks will it take for them to pry Horford from the Hawks? How much are they willing to risk for a guy who might bolt after a few months?
Personally, I’m all for Horford if it doesn’t cost any of the Brooklyn picks and it doesn’t involve Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, or Marcus Smart. I’d like it to not involve Kelly Olynyk either, but, I’m resigned to the possibility because Atlanta will want at least something of value in return and just cap space and a mid-round pick won’t do it.
Regardless, Horford is this much closer to being a Celtic… if he’s traded. Which he might not be. Because Atlanta doesn’t know if they’ll move him yet.