|Celtics reportedly unwilling to pay ‘premium prices’ on rentals like Al Horford, Dwight Howard||02.18.16 at 10:12 am ET|
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics have showed an “unwillingness to pay premium prices on rentals for Al Horford and Dwight Howard.”
Both players are set to become free agents this summer and will be demanding large contracts.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m.
Sources: So far, Boston’s showing unwillingness to pay premium prices on rentals for Al Horford and Dwight Howard.
‘ Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 18, 2016
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Will the Celtics swing a trade for Al Horford?
After there was a report Wednesday afternoon of the Celtics being the favorites to land Horford if the Hawks were to make the center available, hours later a report came out that there have been no recent talks between the two sides.
According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, as of late Wednesday, the Celtics have had “no recent talks” with the Hawks regarding Horford. Bulpett said the issue with Horford is the Celtics aren’t willing to pay him big money once he becomes a free agent after this season.
The NBA trade deadline is set for 3 p.m. Thursday.
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|Report: Celtics lead Al Horford sweepstakes if Hawks make him available at deadline||02.17.16 at 4:48 pm ET|
Are the Celtics about to get their big man at the trade deadline?
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Danny Ainge is the front-runner to land Atlanta center Al Horford if the Hawks make him available before Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
The nine-year veteran is averaging 15.3 points and 6.9 rebounds while starting all of Atlanta’s 55 games this season. The 31-24 Hawks are just one game behind the third-place Celtics in the Eastern Conference.
This all begs the question why Atlanta would want to deal one the league’s best big men right now? The Hawks are staring down the barrel of the free agency gun with Horford set to hit the open market this summer.
Horford is in the final year of a five-year, $60 million contract and is earning $12 million this season. Blakely reports that the Hawks have not made a decision on whether they will trade Horford but a league source told CSNNE.com that “the Celtics have emerged as one of the favorites to land him.”
But the big caveat is whether the Hawks even decide to part ways with the veteran forward at all. Atlanta would likely demand one of Boston’s three first-round picks.
If Ainge feels the true value is in the lottery pick, and could package the other first-rounders and some other enticements, then the deal might happen.
What would it mean for the short-term? Horford, a four-time All-Star, would easily step in and become Boston’s best post player, as Jared Sullinger, Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder has formed the starting front court the last 11 games and 16 of the last 17 games.
|Report: Hawks looking for ‘borderline ridiculous’ return for Al Horford, Jeff Teague||02.12.16 at 10:46 am ET|
Many NBA trade rumors have linked the Celtics to the 29-year-old Horford for two basic reasons. First, there’s an obvious need for the Celtics in the post to strengthen their potential playoff run in the East. The Celtics are in third place with a 32-23 record at the All-Star break and could make a run at the No. 1 or 2 seed. Second, the Celtics are one of the few teams with the capital on hand to execute the deal the Hawks are looking for, as Boston holds three first-round picks in the upcoming draft, including Brooklyn’s lottery pick.
But that doesn’t mean Boston would be willing to deal, according to Mannix.
“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,” Mannix said Thursday on CSNNE. “The kind of things teams like Boston, or Milwaukee, or Denver simply won’t deal for the players they want.
“Things like this tend to cool off, though. As we get close to the deadline — when we get to the 17th, when we get to the 18th [the trade deadline] — that’s when the real horse trading begins. That’s when [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny Ainge will know if Atlanta is really serious about trading Al Horford.”
Horford has started all 55 games this season and is averaging 15.3 points per game and 6.9 rebounds. The biggest deterrent to making a deal would be the fact that Horford will become a free agent at the end of the season. Teague, at 27, is in the prime of his career. He’s in the third year of a four-year, $32 million contract.
There have been multiple reports that the Hawks are considering trading the two pieces to try to get to the top of the draft and to position themselves for the new salary cap that takes effect next season, with a cap coming in at around $89 million, a jump of $19 million. In two years, the cap mushrooms to $108 million.
|Chris Mannix on OM&F: Celtics should trade for Al Horford if given opportunity||02.11.16 at 11:53 am ET|
Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Thursday morning to discuss the latest Celtics trade rumors, notably Al Horford. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Mannix feels if the Celtics can get a chance to trade for the Atlanta forward they should do so because he can help the team not only now, but years down the line.
“I think Al Horford — if you’re ranking the free agents out there by tiers, putting them into classes, Al Horford is on that next tier right below Kevin Durant, LeBron, if you want to call him a free agent — he’s right there. He’s a bonafide star at his position.” Mannix said. “He plays both front court spots. He’s a great guy, so he won’t disrupt the character of the locker room. I think he’s going to be a highly productive player for the next three years. You throw a guy like Al Horford into that mix, and while he’s not one of those free agent magnets, what he is is another player to a group of bursting young players that is going to be really attractive to other free agent players to come join up and play with.
“The word is out on Brad Stevens. People want to play for this guy and if you deepen this team and add a potential All-Star like Al Horford to the mix, you got to do it if you have the opportunity.”
The Celtics have a number of future draft picks, including Brooklyn’s first rounder this year. Mannix doesn’t feel they will need to trade that pick for Horford, but a few of their future draft picks should be included in a potential package.
|Report: Celtics, Danny Ainge ‘excited’ about possible trade for Al Horford||02.10.16 at 4:33 pm ET|
Speaking on CSN New England, Chris Mannix suggested there might be some traction when it comes to the Celtics’ rumored interest in Atlanta forward Al Horford.
“I think Boston, Al Horford is a legitimate possibility for the Celtics,
Mannix said. “I think that is one of the guys across the league that Danny Ainge is the most excited about. He is a four man that would fit right into what Boston is trying to do.
“It would cost a lot of money to re-sign him in the offseason, but I think Boston is willing to play it, because they haven’t paid a lot of money for players in recent years.”
Horford, whose contract expires at the end of this season, is averaging 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Mannix surmised that a potential deal wouldn’t get done until closer to the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
With the NBA trade deadline now just over a week away, focus has shifted to a team that appears to be on the verge of blowing it up — the Atlanta Hawks.
With free-agent-to-be Al Horford and sharpshooter Kyle Korver, Atlanta has a couple of pieces that could interest the Celtics, as ESPN insider Chad Ford noted in a recent column, when he proposed a trade of the two to Boston for David Lee, Kelly Olynyk and a pair of first-round picks (neither one coming from Brooklyn).
Ford also proposed a larger three-way deal involving the Kings that would send out Evan Turner and the upcoming Nets pick (which could be No. 1 overall), among other pieces, and bring DeMarcus Cousins back to Boston.
That’s not happening. The Hawks present an intriguing trade partner, however. Horford’s impending free agency automatically depresses his market, and the athletic big man would give the Celtics a dimension they certainly lacked in Tuesday’s 112-111 loss to the Bucks, when Greg Monroe torched them for 29 points, including the go-ahead layup with one second left.
Horford is capable of shooting from 16 feet or scoring on the block, and he’s an excellent team defender. He’d fit right into Brad Stevens‘ system on the opposing end of the floor, which is where the Celtics win games.
Korver would give them something they desperately need as well, a guard/forward who can knock down open 3-pointers. He’s shooting .383 from deep this season, which is actually his lowest mark in a decade, but would still rank second on the Celtics (behind Olynyk’s .415) among players with at least 100 attempts.
Lifetime, Korver shoots 3’s at an absurd .429 clip, including a league-best .492 last year and an NBA-record .536 in 2010. At age 34, he’s the rare player to hit his stride when his career should be winding down. He’s an average defender in a helping scheme, at best, but his shooting could help the Celtics space the floor.
Also, Horford and Korver are both considered winning players, no small consideration when looking for guys who will buy into Stevens’ system. Might there be a match? We’ll find out in the next eight days.
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