Center Or Power Forward? (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
With all of the recent talk about trades and lineup shakeups surrounding the Hawks there are many different scenarios and ideas about what needs to be shored up before the trade deadline. One Hawks player's father has his own ideas and he thinks the Hawks would be wise to acquire a center to help take the burden off of his son. Tito Horford told AJC writer Jeff Schultz earlier this week that he thinks Atlanta needs to make a move where Al can become a full time power forward.
"I’ve been begging [general manager] Rick Sund and the Hawks for the last three years – please get a center so my son can pay his normal position," the elder Horford said Tuesday from his home in the Dominican Republic. "He can’t push guys out of the box like I could. If he moved to forward, he would have a longer career."
The Hawks went on a signing spree this past off season by bringing in big men like Josh Powell and Etan Thomas to help shore up their front court depth. While Powell played a lot early on he recently has fallen out of the rotation and Thomas has failed to make any impact whatsoever while spending most of his time in a suit. The biggest impact other than Horford at the center position has been made by holdover Jason Collins who was also resigned during the off season after getting himself in much better physical shape. Collins and Zaza Pachulia have been essentially the only options at center other than Horford and results have been mixed at best.
Of course it is worth noting that Horford more than holds his own at the center position on most nights. There are those few exceptions when the Hawks match up against Dwight Howard or Andrew Bogut that anyone really has that much of a size advantage over Horford. During Larry Drew's tenure he has elected to start a bigger lineup against centers like Howard by inserting Collins into the starting lineup at center. But it is Tito's thinking that suggests that Al would be so much more effective as a power forward. Larry Drew offered his opinion to Schultz.
How good would he be as a power forward?
"He’d be a beast," coach Larry Drew said.
One major problem is with the way the Hawks are constructed. It is debatable as to whether or not the team views Josh Smith as a long term solution to the small forward position and perhaps it would take Smith to bring back a center of the quality that would allow Horford to move to Power Forward. Would the Hawks be willing to move Smith? The two prevailing theories are a) the Hawks need a big man to free up Al Horford to play the power forward position, or b) the Hawks need a defensive minded point guard to help shore up perimeter defense. Both areas need to be shored up but it is a long shot that the Hawks have the means to fix them both at this point.
Exit Question: What is the more pressing need? Should the Hawks make a move where Al Horford becomes the full time Power Forward?