The Boston Celtics might be the most likely trade scenario for center Al Horford if the Atlanta Hawks decided to pull a franchise-altering trade prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline. Still if a deal is to be made, it sounds like the two sides would still have considerable work that would have to get done.
The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics' top pick, which was acquired from Brooklyn in the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade, would not be in play in a potential deal for Horford. Bulpett adds that the Hawks and Celtics haven't spoken recently about trade for Horford and that Boston would be unwilling to give him big money this summer on the free agent market.
That would not be so for some of the other very good, but not transcendent types that have also been discussed with the Celts. The pick would not be in play for Al Horford, but that matter seems moot anyway. The C's have had no recent talks with Atlanta about him, and, in addition to what the Hawks might want should they move him, it is clear from sources that the Celts are not willing to pay the 6-foot-10 center big money when he becomes a free agent in the summer.
Sounds like this could be quite a bit of posturing on the part of the Celtics. They may in fact not want to deal the Brooklyn pick in a Horford deal that could amount to a two-month rental of the four-time All-Star. However, they are among the teams that have been rumored to be interested in signing Horford as a free agent this summer for a long time. Horford will be highly sought after this summer and that along with the cap infusion will certainly drive up the price tag.
Like the Hawks, the Celtics appear to be having conversations on a number of levels with several teams around the league. Don't be surprised if the two teams speak again before the 3 p.m. deadline.