The NBA’s free agency period is officially underway, and Al Horford is perhaps the second-best player on the market. As a result, there is a great deal of attention on the Atlanta Hawks and how they handle Horford’s situation, and Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical addressed Horford directly during the site’s free agency special.
.@WojVerticalNBA: Al Horford views himself as max player. Will meet with Celtics, Rockets and other teams.— The Vertical (@TheVertical) July 1, 2016
As noted above, Wojnarowski indicated directly that Horford “views himself as a max player” and this was stated repeatedly during the broadcast. Atlanta’s cornerstone big man will likely receive multiple 4-year max offers in the coming hours and days, and only the Hawks have the ability to present 7.5% annual raises and a fifth year of guaranteed money.
However, Wojnarowski spoke candidly in presenting that his sources believe Horford would stay in Atlanta if offered the five-year maximum contract. As you might expect, this offer is something that has not been presented to this point, at least in a way that has leaked publicly.
Horford will reportedly meet with both the Boston Celtics (which is sure to incite panic with Hawks fans) and Houston Rockets beginning on Friday morning, and the list of meetings that the 30-year-old center may take could grow in the near future. Still, if the reports are to be believed, Atlanta’s trump card of a full five-year max contract remains fully in play.