Tag:Al Horford
Posted on: October 4, 2010 11:44 am
Edited on: October 4, 2010 11:45 am

Hawks are hammering out Al Horford's extension

Posted by Royce Young

Nobody tell Jamal Crawford, but the Hawks are actively working on an extension for Al Horford reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Joakim Noah reportedly got about $60 million over five years over the weekend and as I mentioned in that post, Noah's contract will probably be used as a measuring stick for Horford's extension. Both are center/power forward hybrids, both are young, both came into the league in the same draft class and hey, both played at Florida. (Not that that matters really though.)

Horford is looking to get paid and as he told the paper, he wants to stay in Atlanta.

“How do you see yourself with the team?” Horford told the AJC. “Do you think the team is going the right way? Obviously, you have to factor in do you like the city you are i? ... All those things favor me because I feel like we are in a good position. We’ve been playing together. This is my fourth year with the team, and I love the city of Atlanta."

Just like Noah, Atlanta has until Nov. 1 to make a deal with Horford on an extension, otherwise Horford becomes a restricted free agent next season. And you know the Hawks don't want that. The Hawks can offer an extension of up to five years and $82 million, but it's unlikely they'll max out on Horford. But then again, we all saw what they did with Joe Johnson over the summer. Right now, Horford is set to make $5.4 million in 2010-11, the final year of his rookie-scale contract.

Horford, 24, was taken with the third overall pick in the 2007 draft after he helped lead Florida to two NCAA championships. Eastern Conference coaches voted Horford to his first All-Star team last season, plus new Hawks coach Larry Drew recently named Horford as a captain with Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.

Again, this is the major hangup in Crawford getting the extension he so badly wants. The Hawks shelled out $120 million to Joe Johnson and are probably looking at tossing $60-70 on Horford. Paying Crawford is just a tough, tough thing right now for the Hawks.
Posted on: October 3, 2010 11:43 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2010 11:50 pm

Report: Bulls and Noah agree to extension

Posted by Royce Young

Well, it doesn't look like Joakim Noah is getting traded for Carmelo Anthony.

According to multiple outlets, Noah has agreed to a contract extension worth somewhere in the $60 million range over five years. The extension makes Noah only the second player in the class of 2007 to sign an extended deal, Kevin Durant being the other player.

Noa probably earned the big payday last season as he averaged 10.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in his thirs season. He became known as one of the East's best intertior defenders and his energy and effort is something that's become a calling-card for Noah. And evidently he is something valuable enough that the Bulls said no to trading him for Carmelo and also paid him $12 million a year.

The Bulls were on the clock too. If the two sides could not come to an agreement by Nov. 1, Noah could be a restricted free agent after next season and then an unrestricted free agent. And according to Smith, the two sides were stalled in the recent weeks with the Bulls offering $55-57 million over five years while Noah wanted somewhere in the $65 million range. So it looks like there was a nice compromise.

But what does it mean for Chicago? The Bulls made big news this offseason giving huge money to Carlos Boozer, plus Derrick Rose is only a few seasons away from an extension from Chicago. With $12 million a year locked up in Noah, plus the big money owed to Luol Deng, the Bulls will have over half their total salary wrapped up in four players.

And also think about Ken Berger's recent report about the potential for a new hard cap. Noah's salary could hog as much as a quarter of the Bulls' total payroll and with all the salary and CBA stuff up in the air, maybe it made sense for Chicago to let Noah test the restricted free agent market. But then again, Noah was important enough to them to turn down Anthony, so obviously they weren't willing to risk him next summer.

What's also interesting about Noah's extension is that it probably gives some sort of measuring bar for the Hawks to go off of for Al Horford's looming extension. Horford has been working actively with the Hawks to get something done and now there's a five-year $60 million deal to base things off of from another center from his same draft class that he competes against.

Is Noah worth $60 million? A few other big men making around $12 million a year are Antwan Jamison, Andrew Bogut, Josh Smith, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nene, Al Jefferson and Chris Kaman. Is Noah in that category? Not necessarily statistically, but in terms of importance to his team, you could probably say so.
Posted on: September 26, 2010 6:30 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 6:30 pm

Preseason Primer: Hawks

Posted by Royce Young

The Hawks made news by inking Joe Johnson to a superstar contract when many thought Johnson wasn't worth it. But it was either that or let him walk to a team that would give it to him. Atlanta didn't do much else and plans on the development of its young core to keep coming along. But the East may be passing them by. The Hawks are pretty much set heading to camp but still, the young faces might be able to push some of the older ones.

Training camp site: Atlanta, GA

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Josh Powell (free agent), Jordan Crawford (draft)

Key subtractions: Mike Woodson (fired)

Likely starting lineup:   Mike Bibby, PG; Joe Johnson, SG; Marvin Williams, SF; Josh Smith, PF, Al Horford, C

Player to watch: Any time a player gets paid, they immediately become someone to watch. And Joe Johnson got paid this summer. Most questioned the deal for Johnson, wondering if he was really worth the max money he was given. And now without the incentive of working for that contract left, all he has is the motivation he's got left is proving the doubters wrong. And winning games, of course.

Chemistry quiz: Jamal Crawford caused a bit of a stir asking for a pay-me-or-trade-me type of thing this summer. And coming into camp, that'll surely be a situation that hangs over a bit. But more than anything, the biggest question for the Hawks is if this team is ready to start moving ahead. Can they hang together now that players are getting big money, some are asking for money and a guy like Al Horford is waiting for his ship to come in. The Hawks were the up-and-comers a few years ago, now they better start moving ahead before contracts and disease of more stops everything in its tracks.

Camp battles: The Hawks are pretty much set across the board. The one battle that could be interesting later on is if Jeff Teague can push Mike Bibby at some point. This camp could be a big step in Teague showing he might be ready at some point.

Biggest strength: Length, athleticism and speed. Atlanta's starting five is as physically gifted as just about any group out there. Between Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford, the team has talent out the wazoo. Johnson anchors the scoring and Horford is the steady inside presence. Atlanta may be missing something in the first five, but it's not much.

Glaring weakness: Depth. To be specific, depth on the inside. Jamal Crawford provides the scoring off the bench, Teague spells Bibby well (though Bibby may be on the way out) and Maurice Evans is a quality enough backup to Williams. But Josh Powell, Jason Collins and Zaza Pachulia may not be a strong enough secondary front line to battle Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett or Chris Bosh in the East.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 11:19 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 11:20 am

Inquiries have been made on Jamal Crawford

Posted by Royce Young

Making demands is all the rage now. Chris Paul, Rudy Fernandez, Carmelo Anthony and Jamal Crawford have all made some kind of request to their current team whether it be a trade, a contract extension or both.

Jamal Crawford informed the Hawks last week that he wanted an extension before the new CBA or he wants a trade out of Atlanta. You know, the classic pay-me-or-trade-me move. And as of now, it's looking like an extension for Crawford isn't the Hawks top priority. Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Rick Sund plans on focusing on Al Hordford before anything else. The Hawks can offer Horford an extension that starts in 2011-12 and is worth up to $82 million over five years. The deadline for a deal is Oct. 31.

So that means that Crawford very likely is on the market. Cunningham reports at least three teams have asked about Crawford's availability. But here's the twist: Those inquiries were made before the pay-me-or-trade me move. The Hawks said thanks but no thanks and moved on. So if general manager Rick Sund decides trading Crawford is his move, he's got at least three lines he can ring to try and re-establish negotiations.

The Hawks want to keep Crawford. But after shelling out major money to Joe Johnson ($120 million to be exact) and now with Horford's extension coming, Crawford is getting squeezed. The more you win, the more players want. Crawford knows he was a big part of Atlanta's success and he's not pumped watching his teammates get paychecks while he has to sit and wait for the new CBA to potentially hurt him. The ball is in Sund's court and by the sound of it, if he can't reach an agreement with Crawford, he already has a couple teams to play ball with.
Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 11:31 pm

NBA's 2011 MLK day is stellar as usual

Posted by Matt Moore

Along with the Christmas and opening day schedules released tonight by the NBA, the MLK Jr. Day schedule was also revealed. And just as in years past, the slate's pretty solid. If only we had a trusty NBA blog to run down the games that day.

Wait, we do have a blog like that! It's this one!

Okay, I'll stop. Here's the rundown.

1PM EST, Bulls at Grizzlies:

The Grizzlies had a huge win last year on MLK day over the Suns, a team much better than them in 2009-2010. And they'll find themselves in a similar situation this year. Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer make the Bulls a much better team than they were last year on paper. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have only added a shooting guard they can't come to terms with despite the existence of a rookie pay scale. So they've got that going for them.

But still, this should be a good matchup, if the Grizzlies aren't on a back-to-back. Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah are very different but nearly equal players in terms of production and skill. Zach Randolph is the flip side of Carlos Boozer. More consistent, less injury prone, and continuosly hammered for his locker room cancerous behavior. Not that Boozer is a saint, he's just somehow been excused regularly despite his contract situation being a distraction for Utah the last two years. But their production is similar so that's nearly a wash as well. Rudy Gay is a better but younger version of Luol Deng, and O.J. Mayo's scoring punch and perimeter defensive speed counters Kyle Korver/Ronnie Brewer's specific but limited skill-sets. Unfortunately, that Derrick Rose guy exists. Advantage: Bulls.

Let's not even talk about the bench diffferential, which is considerable. Like I said, back-to-back for the Grizz would be a bad, bad thing here.

4PM EST, Kings at Hawks:

The Hawks got ran last MLK by an up and coming Western Conference team in the Thunder. So naturally the league scheduled them against a similar, and only slightly worse in the Kings. Joe Johnson versus Tyreke Evans should make for a good theater, and Al Horford versus DeMarcus Cousins could be one of the most bizarre conflicts of style and personality among players under 25 all season. And hey, what says Martin Luther King Jr. Day more than Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia?

8EST, Magic at Celtics:

You don't really expect me to provide you with a preview for the estimated 22nd meeting of these two teams in three years, do you? Because if you do, you expect way too much out of me.

Oh, hey, something-something, Shaquille O'Neal versus Dwight Howard. Boom.

10:30PM EST, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers:

This is likely going to be a back-to-back for the Thunder. That's generally how these things work. But in what could well end up being an MVP season for Kevin Durant, it still should be incredibly fun. As we saw in the playoffs, these two teams are extremely well matched, and even with the Lakers' upgrades off the bench, OKC's continued development should make for a strong foil to their heavily favored position.

Plus, Cole Aldrich versus Pau Gasol could be high comedy.

Posted on: July 27, 2010 9:19 am

Jamal Crawford would like some more, thanks

Posted by Matt Moore

Hey look, Jamal Crawford was polite. He waited till the ink was dry on Joe Johnson's new max contract before making it clear he wants more money over more years.

ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reports that Crawford has contacted Hawks management and informed them he wants a contract extension before his contract expires next year. Crawford, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, was an integral part of the Hawks' success last season, which despite its dismal ending against the Magic, had the Hawks make the playoffs as the third seed, and sweep the Boston Celtics in regular season play. Crawford provided a dynamic scorer off the bench that overwhelmed opponents after they had exhausted personnel and schemes on containing Joe Johnson.

This move is likely one of the first of a series of extension requests that should come over the next few months. With the CBA negotiations in full lockdown, and a lockout an unavoidable eventuality, players will be wanting to avoid the stricter salary restrictions that will accompany the new agreement. As such, these kinds of requests should become the norm over the next few months.

The problem, of course, is that the Hawks have just given Joe Johnson a max contract, and along with all their other players, face a strict cap situation regardless of how the CBA works out. This is on top of the fact that Al Horford will need either an extension or re-signing at the end of his rookie contract. With Horford sharing Johnson's agent, Arn Tellem, and with him being an All-Star, there's a good chance the Hawks may not be able to commit the money to Crawford. This is what happens when you choose to spend the boat on the nicest oar onboard.

Posted on: July 22, 2010 5:59 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 11:11 am

Offseason Reviews: Southeast Division

Posted by Matt Moore

With only a handful of free agents left on the market and with summer league over, we thought we'd take a look at how various teams did over the summer in negotiating their moves.

Atlanta Hawks

Added: Joe Johnson (re-signed for eleventy billion dollars) Jordan Crawford (draft)
Lost: Josh Childress (didn't really have him anyway, but technically, they lost the rights to him in trade)

Philosophy: "Self-delusion is all the rage this summer!"

What are you going to do if you're Atlanta in six years? When Joe Johnson's crossover is no longer deadly and you're paying him $20 million? The goal, apparently, is to try and contend for a title in the next three years, hoping Al Horford and Josh Smith keep developing, Jeff Teague turns into a starter-caliber point guard, and maybe figure out some big name free agent you can sign on the cheap, like Shaq, that will put you over the top. It's not that the Hawks are a bad team. Far from it. While everyone was mocking them in the mid-00's for stockpiling forwards, they've either developed them into quality starters or raised their trade value enough to move them for pieces or cap relief. But this summer, they have only made one signature move, and that was spending way too much for Joe Johnson.

The vast number of ways in which the Johnson signing was poorly conceived is staggering. The full max, all six years? That much money? The roster had potential to really contend, but instead, the Hawks simply avoided the great collapse of losing a high usage player with low efficiency. Johnson can take over a game like few in the league. But he also simply isn't worth the money, and it's hamstrung their franchise for the future.

Grade: D+

Charlotte Bobcats

Added: Shaun Livingston (free agency), Dominic Maguire (free agency), Matt Carroll (trade), Erick Dampier (trade), Eduardo Najera (trade)
Lost: Raymond Felton (free agency), Alexis Ajinca (trade), Tyson Chandler (trade)

Philosophy: "Slight derivatives"

Did the Bobcats get better? Did they get worse? Did they stay the same? No, those aren't rhetorical. I'm asking. Because looking at that list above, I really can't be sure. They lost an underrated point guard who worked hard but never could stick with Larry Brown. They added a recovering injury-plagued point guard who can't seem to stick with any coach. They lost a veteran seven foot center with wear and tear on him and a large contract. They brought in an aging behemoth with wear and tear issues and a big contract. And they got Dominic Maguire, so they've got that going for them.

Larry Brown and Rod Higgins have built a program of improvement through trade and have kept up with this offseason. Adding Livingston provides a high-upside, low-risk replacement for Felton and they managed to trim some long-term money off the books. But you can't look at the roster and say they've improved dramatically. Status quo for the Cats. Underrated moves that still don't move them up dramatically in the NBA world.

Grade: C-

Orlando Magic

Added: J.J. Redick (re-signed), Chris Duhon (free agency), Quentin Richardson (free agency), Daniel Orton (draft), Stanley Robinson (draft)
Lost: Matt Barnes (free agency)

Philosophy: "The fear of losing out."

Marcin Gortat wants a bigger role. Benched. Brandon Bass wants a bigger role. Benched. J.J. Redick wanted a bigger role and more money. Offer from the Bulls matched and benched. The Magic seem to really believe in this roster, and it shows in them re-signing Redick and only addint marginal adjustments at other positions. Their draft essentially yielded them a raw, underdeveloped player who has little to no chance of getting playing time (Orton) and another wing to be buried deep. They didn't lose anyone, which means the luxury tax and the Magic are best of friends, especially after matching the $20 million offer for Redick from the Bulls.

Without any adjustments, and with how much better the East has gotten, it's hard to argue that the Magic have improved by not subtracting. Chris Duhon might be considered an upgrade over Jason Williams, but we're talking inches, not miles, and Quentin Richardson brings better three point shooting than Matt Barnes . That may be the best addition the Magic made, adding another shooter that provides an alternative reason not to play Vince Carter when he goes in a hole. But all in all, for a franchise that has spent the money to contend, they simply haven't done enough to get there.

Grade: C-

Miami Heat

Added: LeBron James (free agency sign-and-trade), Chris Bosh (free agency sign-and-trade), Dwyane Wade (re-signed), Mike Miller (free agency), Udonis Haslem (re-signed), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (re-signed), James Jones (re-signed), Joel Anthony (re-signed), Jamaal Magloire (re-signed), Juwan Howard (free-agency), Dexter Pittman (draft), Jarvis Varnado (draft), Da'Sean Butler (draft),

Jermaine O'Neal (free agency), Quentin Richardson (free agency), Michael Beasley (trade), Daequan Cook (trade)

"So, that went pretty well."

That's how you build a title contender. Any questions? The Heat managed to add all three of the top free agents this summer, fill out the roster with veteran talent that knows how to win and supports their Big 3, and did it all in a little less than fourteen days. Think about that. The Heat remade their team into a title contender in less time than it takes for your milk to go bad. It was a sweeping coup, one that has to lead people to believe it probably took much longer to orchestrate (cough*tampering*cough). What could the Heat have done better? Well, not allowing for the act to paint them as the most obnoxious triumverate in modern sports would have been nice. Other than that, it's hard to argue Pat Riley's anything but a genius. Getting Quentin Richardson would have been nice, but adding Mike Miller more than makes up for it. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Joel Anthony gives the team some size to go along with the incredible talent they have. From when once mortals stood, now there be gods. Geez, Riley, save some for the rest of the class.

Grade: A

Washington Wizards

Added: John Wall (draft), Kirk Hinrich (trade), Trevor Booker (draft), Yi Jianlian (trade), Hamady N'Diaye (draft), Hilton Armstrong (free agency), Kevin Seraphin (draft)
Lost: Randy Foye (free agency), Mike Miller (free agency), Shaun Livingston (free agency)

"Let's see how this goes."

One thing is absolutely certain. John Wall is the future. Everything is built around Wall as the future. He is the singular sure thing. Other than that, sussing out a pattern that goes beyond "keep it flexible, stupid" is tough. The team acquired Kirk Hinrich in one of the more baffling moves we've seen. Hinrich brings a veteran defensive guard that can play on or off ball, back up Wall, and anchor the defense. But he's also an underwhelming shooter (oh, where, oh, where have you gone, 2005 shooting average?) and doesn't seem like an ideal fit next to Wall. Neither does the incumbent shooting guard, Gilbert Arenas , who you may remember from such films as "The Single Worst Offseason Meltdown in the History of the League" and "Little Blogger, Get Your Gun, Then Bring It To The Arena."

Arenas' ability to play next to Wall will decide his future in Washington. No longer is the team willing to build around him. If he can slide into an off-ball shooter that complements Wall? Terrific. Redemption abounds. Provided he stays out of trouble, of course. If he can't, he's trade bait. He may be already. The addition of Yi Jianlian seems like a "let's see what this does" kind of tinkering. The team still needs a long-term solution at small-forward, and with Andray Blatche recovering from injury, there are questions all over in the frontcourt. When you realize that JaVale McGee seems like the player best adapted to mix with John Wall, you know you've got a ways to go in the rebuilding process.

To evaluate? They failed to make any signings or trades that wow you, but they also managed to not screw up the #1 overall pick and cleaned some salary off the books for the future. Not a bad day at the office. And that's better than last year.

Grade: B-
Posted on: July 22, 2010 3:38 pm
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