Atlanta Hawks: Down to the wire for Al Horford extension

Horford trying to become third Class of '07 draft pick to secure extension.

Horford trying to become third Class of '07 draft pick to secure extension.

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.”

Injury report

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.”

206 comments Add your comment


October 25th, 2010
3:56 pm


October 25th, 2010
3:58 pm

Wow Ive waited four years for that lol. So who starts wednesday? Sore back bibby or weak ankles Teague.


October 25th, 2010
4:08 pm

AL is so highly regarded around the league. I truly believe he is the one indispensable player on this team.

I hope this gets done, the last thing we need is Horford going into this season without any formal commitment from/to the Hawks.


October 25th, 2010
4:34 pm

Thanks for the update on Sy.

As for Al:
“Git ‘er done”!


October 25th, 2010
4:41 pm

Man back problems are no joke

drmaryb (*_*)

October 25th, 2010
4:44 pm

Respect The Boss!

The ASKG need to show Al the same effort on love that they showed Joe.
Go to his house at midnight and show him why you made him the #3 Pick!
Pay him more than Noah got and do it before Al becomes a RFA.

If they can do it for Marvin and not Josh or Al, what message does that send to Al. Don’t wait on the CBA new deal to get him on the cheap! That would have a damning effect all around the league and for Jamal and other UFA’s in the future.

I we go that route? I am officially done with this cheap azz group!
I will always support the players and coach, but not as feverishly as I do know.

Astro Joe

October 25th, 2010
4:47 pm

MC, is it safe to assume that waiting until the 11th hour to meet is in hopes of limiting the number of proposals and counter-proposals? It seems crazy to wait until the last minute if you sincerely want to get something done, at the same time, if both parties desire to make the extension work, then the influence of the imminent deadline keeps the “stupid stuff” from entering the negotiation table. Again, seems like a strange ploy to me, but Sund does everything by design, so there is clearly some method to what seems like madness to me.

Section 303

October 25th, 2010
4:55 pm

Geez…I suppose there is virture in Sund’s slow negotiating tactics, but sometimes (like now) they annoy me. Just get the d@mn deal done. It is obvious Al is a good player, great leader, and wants to be here. What is the hold up? In this case, quit slow playing and get Al signed. He’s a Hawk. Plus, I just shelled out for his jersey (first b-ball jersey I have ever purchased) and those clowns in the front office had better not let him walk after that.

I don’t see Teague not being aggressive. Coaches know best, no doubt. But, I thought Teague attacked the Heat hard on Thursday. I liked it. That guy has a shot at being a good player. He plays D, attacks…just needs to do it all the time.

STEEL(Formerly VenomSpitter)

October 25th, 2010
5:01 pm

The only criticism of LD I have so far is that he might be practicing TOO HARD.

Like overtraining in boxing, that is counter-productive. He’s gonna have to chill with that or injuries are gonna pile up.


October 25th, 2010
5:45 pm

um, why wouldn’t we do this immediately?

of course now that we’re overpaying Joe Johnson we probably can’t afford to have more than 3 players on the team.


October 25th, 2010
5:54 pm

As much as I respect Horford’s talents AND intangibles, his worth is closer to Noah’s than to Durants, regardless of his draft position.

I’d say 5 years, 65 MIL.

If I’m not mistaken, O’Brien said the same amount.


October 25th, 2010
6:14 pm

Horford is who you build this team around…….Pay him and keep him in the ATL.


October 25th, 2010
6:15 pm

5 years 67.8 mil – my prediction


October 25th, 2010
7:11 pm

I said last week, when MC posted Sund’s thoughts on the Hawks, that Horford won’t be offered an extension. It’ll shock me if he gets one.

The Hawks do have somewhat of an advantage though, seeing that the Hawks can wait until the new CBA comes out, to possbly match an offer sheet.

But the trump card Tellum is probably holding, is the fact that the Hawks don’t have any depth at the center position whatsoever. And if Horford tells the Hawks as the end of the year that he doesn’t want to re-sign, what the hell are we gonna do then about a center? Horford may be playing out of position, but he’s better than all of our reserve centers combined.

Sund is the same guy that drafted 3 consecutive garbage centers in the 1st round while a GM with the Sonics ( Robert Swift, Yohan Petro, and Saer Sene ), so I don’t trust Sund’s “eye” for big man talent at all.

Michael Cunningham

October 25th, 2010
7:13 pm

@AJ: “MC, is it safe to assume that waiting until the 11th hour to meet is in hopes of limiting the number of proposals and counter-proposals? It seems crazy to wait until the last minute if you sincerely want to get something done, at the same time, if both parties desire to make the extension work, then the influence of the imminent deadline keeps the “stupid stuff” from entering the negotiation table. Again, seems like a strange ploy to me, but Sund does everything by design, so there is clearly some method to what seems like madness to me.”

i can’t say if that’s it or not. the Hawks haven’t talked much about the Al or Jamal situations. as you say, a deadline tends to add some urgency to the negotiations. it could be as simple as needing to get the many heads of ASG on board but i can’t say for sure. i think the fact that Al wants to do it and the sides are talking is a positive sign. that’s not happening much with the other ‘07 draftees.

The Truth

October 25th, 2010
7:25 pm

This herky-jerky move by Sund doesn’t surprise me one bit. First he publicly declare Al Horford signing a top priority which immediately raised the expectation that they would show Al some love by expeditiously showing him money in accordance with valuing him so highly in public. This new move by Sund is a “stone wall” move often use to “low ball” a player, totally contradicting his previous move. Sund can’t claim to still be on vacation so what is the hold-up? Notice how swiftly Noah deal got done. Chicago showed him some love and they quickly came to an agreement. Sund has publicly glorified Al, but now he is sending a message to Al to prove his worth. So assuming Al sucks in these upcoming 3 games, it could become a talking point during the negotiation. This bait and switch routine may backfire and Sund will have no one to blame but himself if Al decides to pass on a low ball. He never should have raised his expectation that way in the beginning. Childress got frustrated dealing with Sund and left; don’t think Al wouldn’t do the same.


October 25th, 2010
7:27 pm

“If you can ball . . . you can ball.”

No excuses for why some on the team aren’t balling . . or not making shots . . or not being aggressive.

Coach Drew . . please don’t get into the habit of making excuses as to why certain players don’t perform up to expectations. You knew that they had problems to begin with, injury or not.

Simply play the people who can “ball” . . no excuses needed.

The Atlanta Spirit

October 25th, 2010
7:37 pm

Maybe is we wail we can get him cheaper or maybe we won’t have to put out all that money at all. By the way, it would be nice if this Teague guy could do something so we could get the stupid Bibby contract off the books. Bottom line baby, bottom line.


October 25th, 2010
7:57 pm

Hawks how about Patrick Beverley? He is out of Miami Heats


October 25th, 2010
8:06 pm

Horford is more of a PF. They need a real big-man. maybe they can try to trade trade Marvin Williams to SAC for Sammy Dalembert. Sammy will fill in a spot that the hawks desperately need-the role of interior enforcer and probably Marwilly will find his niche finally in the NBA


October 25th, 2010
8:10 pm

Marvin sucks and all,

but without him and his D we looked horrific


October 25th, 2010
8:13 pm

I wish the Hawks the best but if you make me choose between Durant, Westbrook, Green, Harden, and the other young guys on the Thunder and Al, Josh, Marvin, and Teague its not even close. The Hawks really did not cease the moment when they had all those lottery picks Acie Law, Sheldon Williams, and J Chillz were wasted chances.

drmaryb (*_*)

October 25th, 2010
8:59 pm

Horford is our All-Star Center, Size – Wise he plays bigger than he is.
Say what we will, we would not make the play-offs without him.
We need Jamal too, I would say we need to re-sign him as well.

Like Orlando, we can’t have too many shooters on this team.
We just desperately need to get Teague healed up and going.

Hey, we are not that far off from being Elite.
But, for the Love of BBall … Get them boys some help @ Center in the paint.
Al is the core! Sign the man – already!

Let’s Go Sund!


October 25th, 2010
9:40 pm

“it could be as simple as needing to get the many heads of ASG on board but i can’t say for sure.” MC .

I hope thats not the case, because we have seen how long that takes.

I think the only way the deal gets done is if Horford takes a pay cut from what he is looking for. My guess is, his agent is asking for a max 5 years, $80 mil (All-Star, team captain, on the rise).

But as much as I’m a big fan of Horford, I would not budge over 5 years, $70 mil (or 5 years, $65 mil + incentives). Especially with the new CBA that will probably reduce player salaries.

What I am wondering about, is how soon before Jamal starts speaking up about his lack of an extension.


October 25th, 2010
9:43 pm

Why does everyone assume Sund hasn’t already offered Al an extension? Maybe Al is asking for more than he’s worth right now. The Hawks have the right to match any offer he may receive in the offseason so what’s the rush? Just because he hasn’t signed an extension people presume that Sund is not even talking to his agent.


October 25th, 2010
10:19 pm

5 years 65 million is good money for Al. Tellem would be a fool to pass it up. How much a player gets signed for is all about the market, and w/ the CBA looming, this definitely became a team owner’s market the moment the last summer free agent was signed. .

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 25th, 2010
10:47 pm

@ jhan, This very true because Sund’s policy of not speaking to the press about contract negotiations gives us a one-sided story. We can only speculate. I wish Horf and D12 could trade places. Would love to see him play for his hometown but that’s ‘thinkful wishing’ lol.


October 25th, 2010
11:03 pm

Just remember hawks are the team that never get the right guys on the court this is our history. We don’t get the best players we get them on they’re way out. New ownership same sad story the hawks, bucks, pacers, the other guys never the champions. Hawks fan pls know your role. We SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truth-se rum

October 25th, 2010
11:30 pm

Sign him and trade him. Get us a center, and get horford to a team where he can be a powerforward.

Truth-se rum

October 25th, 2010
11:44 pm

To lock up horford long term would mean to accept that we will never have a chance to win a championship because will not protect the basket as long as he is our center. Bottom line.


October 26th, 2010
1:12 am

To lock up Smith long term would mean to accept that we will never have a chance to win a championship because he is a mentally undisciplined, undersized help defending 4 who has no jump shot, limited post game, and declining FT shooting skills in his 7th NBA season?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Smith, but to single out Horford and his size as the reason we will never win a championship is absurd. Horford as a 4 on a championship team is far more believable to me than Josh as a 4 on a championship team.


October 26th, 2010
1:46 am

As much as I love Josh Smith, I would trade him with Bibby and Jamal for Carmelo and Chauncey Billups right now!!

Truth-se rum

October 26th, 2010
1:47 am


Next time you open a can of hateraid on the # 1 defensive power forward in the nba today make sure you understand that attacking Josh doesn’t help Al become a defender. Al admits he wants out of the position he is being forced to play.

Al is not in Josh’s talent league as for as being a 4. Al is a good blue collar player but hes not now nor ever will be as good as, or talented as Josh defensively or offensively. Lewis

Lets sign and trade Al before the shine of his fluke allstar addition wears of this year. Let trade him so he can go back to his natural position and the hawks can pursue an impact center just like horford said.

Horford has done a good job and is a nice person. His name is already out there for possible sign and trades … so you may want to go give him a hug, lewis

heres a lil sump-un to help your hateraid disease:–iCGQJMZeM

I hope that helps!


October 26th, 2010
1:47 am

We WOULD go all the way with a squad like that!! Center or no center!

da bruser

October 26th, 2010
1:50 am

Truth-se rum

October 26th, 2010
2:15 am

I guess its time to start censoring out views contrary to horford worship.LMAO

The Ayatollah

October 26th, 2010
3:00 am

The Orlando Magic have Dwight Howard, but keep getting knocked out by teams with lesser centers.

This so called number one defensive power forward has yet to be named an all star in the NBA and whines every time a call doesn’t go his way, and shoots jumpers all day long. Super talent goes nowhere without the ability to harness it. Six years later, no all star bid but Al Horford makes the star squad in three. Sounds to me like someone is smoking dope to suggest there is that much talent difference. No haterade, just facts. FAce them if you can.

If the Atlanta Hawks do not get Al Horford signed, we will quickly see just how far down the tubes they can go. Point guard is already a question, but imagine if center becomes bereft of an all star player. Lose Al Horford and it is back to hoping for lottery land as Pachulia becomes the starter and suddenly the super talented power forward will be in foul trouble all day as he tries to defend the center position, which is what Al keeps him from having to do. Mark that day as the seventh year he will not make the all star team and settles for runner up to defensive player of the year but once again does not make the NBA all defensive squad.


October 26th, 2010
3:06 am

let’s look into the possibility of signing De’Sean Butler who was released by MIA.

If he recovers from his injury we would have a real SF to play behind Marvin and a promising talent.


October 26th, 2010
3:10 am

Al isn’t an all-star center. Al was an all star by default, and because Bogut missed too many games. And Al is definitely not a better PF than Josh is. If he was, MC wouldn’t keep reporting that Josh is the only line of defense at the rim for the Hawks. So if Josh isn’t in the game, and Al is at the 4, where’s the interior defense? On offense, the only thing that Al does better than Josh is not down the 13 footer better. But everything else from passing, to driving, even to post moves, Josh is clearly better.


October 26th, 2010
3:11 am

Truth-se rum

October 26th, 2010
3:16 am


Josh Smith last three years


Al Horfords career average



Josh Smith vote by coaches as the # 1 defensive power forward and # 2 of All players. Period

Al Horford. was ranked as the # 25th shot blocking center in the NBA

No Sir

Its you mr Ayatollah azzaholla who smokes pot!

Just the facts maam

Truth-se rum

October 26th, 2010
3:24 am

1. Dwight Howard-ORL 228
2. Andrew Bogut-MIL 175
3. Josh Smith-ATL 173

All does not make the top 25 list but if you list the centers for the 30 nba teams Al is number 25 for block shot.

But he is good at getting the rebound when josh blocks a shot. LOL

Truth-se rum

October 26th, 2010
3:25 am

*Al does not make


October 26th, 2010
5:18 am

If I had to choose between the two, Al Horford would be my choice only because Josh’s b-ball IQ is TOO questionable. He can play excellent basketball the 1st 3 quarters, but he tries to do the unimaginable in the 4th and most of the time costs us the game. I have yet to understand Josh sometimes..I know he wants to win but he trys to win with HIS MENTALITY instead of the head coach!


October 26th, 2010
7:26 am

Lets go hawks and for you guys in the Sekou bloggers fantasy b-ball league, prepare to be served lol (good luck to you guys too).


October 26th, 2010
7:28 am

Truth-se rum,

I know you’re not the GM, but who do you think is available that we could trade Al for? Give me one impact center, and suggest how Rick can acquire him.

Is Orlando getting rid of Howard? Is Bogut available? Is NJ getting rid of Brook Lopez? Is Memphis getting rid of Marc Gasol?

And there is no dominant center in college coming out, and if there was, we pick too low in the draft anyway. So which impact center do you think we should go after? And how do we get him?


imo, Al is better at guarding his man one on one, while Josh is better at help defense. But with a frontcourt rotation of Al, Josh, and ZaZa, it will be very difficult to get to an NBA finals.

Speaking of Josh, it’s interesting to me that the main reason LD made him team captain is because he wants Josh to be more mature on the court.

But why couldnt LD just say “Josh, I want you to stop doing this, stop doing that, and do more of this.” Shouldn’t that be enough for Josh?


October 26th, 2010
7:31 am

Personally I dont want to get into about Al and Josh. Both are a needed pieces to win a title. Not many teams have problem like this. I say sign the kid to 5 years 60 mil. (If he will take that). Find a center that come in a play when you need a big lineup. I would like to see Josh play a little SF at times for defense if nothing else. The success of this team is on the point guard position and Marvin Williams. I would like teague to be in that Nate Robinson mold until he matures. Nate pushed the ball so much on us when he was with New York it killed us. I would really love to coach this team.


October 26th, 2010
8:03 am

O’brien, LD never said that was the main reason. The main reason he made him captain was because he thought he’d be good at it. Other wise he wouldn’t have made him a captain. But who on this team plays the game 100% the right way? Because the biggest problem with Josh jumpers is when he takes them with no one in position to rebound. Guess what, Al does the same thing. And against Miami, Al missed seven jumpers on the perimeter, SEVEN! A center missed seven jumpers (he went 1 for 7 on jumpers). Yet no one said anything about Al needing to stop taking that shot and bailing the defense out. So if you’re a player, and you see your teammate who is playing CENTER has missed seven jumpers (plus 2 close range shots), and you’re shooting better than your teammate, would you not take any more jumpers? The main problem everyone had was the one jumper that Josh Smith took in the 4th quarter from the corner. But no one says anything about the the play Horford decided to get the defensive rebound, dribble past Bibby and Joe to down the middle of the court, and attempt to go one on four just to end up missing a jump hook from the middle of the lane, with no one in position to rebound.

Also the guarding man one on one, I’m not buying it. Josh has always been the one on the teammate who has to guard his man, while seemingly being the only one responsible for providing help defense. So if I have to guard my man and your man, how am I getting the chance to play one on one defense? But the defense that Josh has played on Garnett, Bosh, Boozer, and others have been great. But Horford rarely rotates over in help defense when someone drives the lane, and he rarely leaves his man. Guarding the rim is a higher priority over guarding your man when faced with a decision on defense.

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

October 26th, 2010
8:05 am

So all the guys who run the bulk of the time at point are banged up……thats great.


October 26th, 2010
8:13 am

yeah it’s fun to watch Josh Smith play when he feels like it,

but when you talk about the hawks inconsistencies, he’s the #1 guy who pops out in my head