One thing I’ve noticed about Al Horford when talking to him about his contract extension is he really doesn’t seem to get caught up in the particulars of agent Arn Tellem’s negotiations with the Hawks. That hasn’t changed now that there’s just one week left for an agreement to be reached.
Horford said the Hawks told Tellem they want to wait until the end of the week to meet about the extension. If no deal is reached by the end of business next Monday, then Horford would become a restricted free agent next summer once the Hawks extended him a qualifying offer by June 30.
“I kind of have thought this all along, but I think it really is going to come down to the last day,” Horford said.
Only two 2007 draftees have secured extensions so far: No. 2 overall pick Kevin Durant received a five-year, $85 million deal from Oklahoma City and Horford’s former Florida teammate and friend Joakim Noah, the No. 9 pick, got five years and $60 million plus incentives from the Bulls.
The actual value of extensions could change once the next CBA sets the new rules for contracts. Under the current labor deal, the Hawks can offer Horford an extension of up to five years and $82 million.
Meanwhile Horford, the No. 3 pick in the 2007 draft, said he’s not nervous or anxious about the approaching deadline.
“All I can focus on is playing,” he said. “Obviously, I hope we get it done. I can’t control that. They [the Hawks] want to wait until then, so that’s what we are going to wait until.
“I have always been that way when it is something outside of my reach, and I can’t do anything about it. All I can do is just keep going. I have always been like that with all aspects of my life. I just kind of leave it up to my agent and hopefully they can handle it. It is my business, but it’s not like I can make something happen.”
The advantage for Horford in securing an extension is that he wouldn’t be a free agent during what could be a lockout summer. Though the new CBA likely would affect the terms of his extension, at least he’d have a deal in hand once the season resumed. Otherwise, his options would be to play for Atlanta’s one year qualifying offer, sign an offer sheet with another team or negotiate an extension with the Hawks.
Horford said his representatives discussed the potential ramifications of the new CBA in regards to his situation. But that’s another thing he said he doesn’t worry about.
“I hope we can get it done,” he said. “I think that is the feel. I hope we can come to an agreement and when it comes to that point, it comes. I can’t get caught up in that. I really can’t. I think that is a natural thing for players to look ahead and freak out. But I can’t control it.”
Pape Sy worked out on the court following practice. It’s the first time he’s been able to do so successfully since the start of training camp. He said he aborted an earlier attempt because his back was too sore.
Sy looked to be moving pretty well while shooting jump shots and playing some defense.
“It is starting to get better,” he said. “I can’t wait [to play]. It is a little bit [sore] but I try to play with it and come back as fast as possible.”
L.D. said Bibby (back) is not yet up to speed. He also thinks Teague’s sore ankle has prevented him from being aggressive since his return.
Jamal’s back tightened up so he didn’t participate fully in practice today.
“I’m trying to get my timing back,” he said. “I just need to get my health right.”