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NBA Trade Rumors: Hawks see Al Horford as somewhat untouchable

Expect to hear plenty of trade rumors around Al Horford between now and the trade deadline but it is unlikely that Atlanta deals its All-Star center.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford will be a free agent at the end of the season and will likely be one of the most sought-after names on the market. Teams interested in Horford may approach the Hawks prior to the trade deadline but as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports, the Hawks see Horford as somewhat untouchable.

League sources peg Horford as a player teams will call about all the way up to the trade deadline, but the stance from the Hawks has him as somewhat untouchable.

Horford has been the face of the franchise since the team dealt Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets prior to the 2013 season. Teams are likely to check on Horford's availability, but it is unlikely Atlanta would pull the trigger unless they become afraid that he could walk away in free agency. Kyler also mentions that the sense is that the Hawks will be ready to offer Horford a full max contract in July.

That could change as the deadline and the risk of losing him gets closer, but given how the Hawks have handled pending free agents under the current leadership, there is a sense the Hawks will offer Horford a full max offer in July, so unless his camp indicates otherwise the Hawks seem poised to hang on to Horford.

Trade buzz around Horford is inevitable and the team's inconsistent start certainly isn't going to help that. Horford is likely to rightfully keep his options open, but unless he gives some indication that he is seriously considering leaving, then expect the Hawks to keep him for at least the remainder of this season.