Atlanta Hawks: What they are saying about Al Horford’s deal

A look around the Inter Webs at some early reaction to Al’s $60 million contract extension. Pretty much everyone praised the deal while simultaneously taking shots at J.J.’s contract. . .

AJC wise guy Jeff Schultz says the Hawks got it right:

“When the Hawks announced that they had made Joe Johnson the highest-paid player in the NBA, we all waited for the punchline.

Tuesday, the Hawks announced Al Horford has agreed to a five-year extension worth $60 million. This news isn’t deserving of a punchline — it’s deserving of a parade.

Horford is more than just a talented player. He is an All-Star center even though power forward is his stronger and more natural position. He is a building block unlike any building block the Hawks have had for several years. He is a leader. He has substance.”

At Peachtree Hoops, readers are overwhelmingly approving the deal, with “Awesome! ATL! ATL!” leading the poll by a landslide.

ESPN.com’s Chad Ford focuses on Atlanta’s finances, saying Al’s extension “came as a mild surprise to a number of GMs around the league on Monday” with those same GMs (I assume) now speculating that the Hawks won’t be able to keep Joe, Al, Josh, Marvin and Jamal together after this season. So Ford further speculates the Hawks will have to trade Smoove.

Ken Berger at CBSSports.com reports Atlanta was compelled to give Al the $60 million because Joakim Noah got $60 million. “Sources say the Hawks’ hand was forced by the Bulls’ decision to give Noah a five-year, $60 million extension. Atlanta officials were hoping that looming labor uncertainty would allow them to re-up with Horford at a discount, but that possibility went by the boards once Noah got his deal.”

(Not sure why Noah’s deal would force the Hawks to give Al an extension. If they thought $60 million is too much they could have just passed and waited to work out a deal next summer. Berger also writes Sund has “almost without exception declined to do such extensions in the past.” That’s true for vet contracts but not rookie-scale extensions.)

Bron Tallant at SBNation says the deal “looks great to all parties”:

“Al Horford gets his long term security guaranteed, and this deal is really similar to what Josh Smith signed two offseasons ago (5 Years, $58 million). Yes, it’s more, but that’s just the upward correct of increasing player salaries. Having similar contracts for both of your young frontcourt stars looks really good on paper, and the Hawks have successfully managed to avoid overpaying for either.”

Kurt Helin at probasketballtak.com says the Hawks “needed to make this deal” because Al will be “more central to the Hawks than Joe Johnson” five years from now.

Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie says “the Hawks should be thrilled” with the deal:

“They were able to keep an important piece of their core — an emerging star and fan favorite who can score around the basket, defend elite bigs and has a winner’s pedigree that dates back to his days at the University of Florida — and they didn’t even have to sign him to the worst contract in league history to do it.”

SI’s Chris Mannix Tweets: “Like the Hawks decision to extend Horford but they have to get him some help in the middle. A team with Al at center isn’t winning anything.”

MC

120 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

November 1st, 2010
10:49 pm

“Berger also writes Sund has “almost without exception declined to do such extensions in the past.” That’s true for vet contracts but not rookie-scale extensions.”

Inexplicably, he didn’t give Josh an extension but had no problem overpaying Marvin to keep him around.

Regardless, the Horford deal is a great deal for the Hawks. I am actually surprised they were able to get him for that much less than David Lee.

ILL-Logical

November 1st, 2010
10:49 pm

Opinions are like a certain body part: everyone has one and some of them are not always savory.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 1st, 2010
10:49 pm

Why is my comment awaiting moderation again?

truthspitter

November 1st, 2010
10:50 pm

Chris Mannix doesn’t know anything because the Hawks have won a lot with Al at Center. I do agree that we need a starting level C though and it is not Zaza for anyone even thinking that. Zaza offers no resistance at the rim. To be honest Josh needs some help with another rim protector.

Michael Cunningham

November 1st, 2010
11:00 pm

@Najeh: “Why is my comment awaiting moderation again?”

sorry–fixed. i’m still trying to figure out a few quirks with the changes around here.

DHD

November 1st, 2010
11:02 pm

From Rotoworld:

“We’ve privately been hearing that a Kevin Love-Smith trade could be in the works, but again, all of this is speculation.”

truthspitter

November 1st, 2010
11:04 pm

The better not trade Josh Smith for some sorry non defense playing piece of crap like Kevin Love. If they do that it basically means this team is getting moved to Las Vegas in a couple of years because I promise the ticket sales will go even further in the toilet

truthspitter

November 1st, 2010
11:05 pm

DHD

November 1st, 2010
11:02 pm

From Rotoworld:

“We’ve privately been hearing that a Kevin Love-Smith trade could be in the works, but again, all of this is speculation.”

Quit posting dumb stuff. Idiot.

justin smith

November 1st, 2010
11:10 pm

this is really not good new because if u like Josh Smith like I do and u want him in ATL for a long time …. this deal might sign the END of Josh in ATL which is going to make the Hawks 5 times worse than they are know …. Josh is there overall best player better than Joe and Horford ….. they might be able to give Marvin away but they wont get anything for him and they will have to eat a portion of his contract …. thats if they resign Crawford which I awesome they will …. Crawford is a great offensive player probably the best on the team and a great person the boot, Atl would be crazy to let him walk, Rick is going to have to pull off the move of the century in order to keep there top core together …. if anybody is listing to me that matters ….. trade Joe eat some of his contract and KEEP JOSH SMITH at all cost PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

truthspitter

November 1st, 2010
11:14 pm

You people are so stupid that its sad the Hawks will be atleast $8 million under luxury tax next year if they simply let Jamal walk. They can sign there 1st and 2nd round pick and 2 or 3 minimum players and still be $2 or $3 million under luxury. I now understand how these lying scammers and politicians especially the War Criminals like Bush can keep you idiots fooled for 8 years. It’s because you people are pure stupid and can’t read or think for yourselves.

Sara

November 1st, 2010
11:15 pm

I would hate to see Josh traded.

Section 303

November 1st, 2010
11:17 pm

Josh Smith is not going anywhere. Calm down, justin smith. These guys writing that Smith is on his way out because of Al’s deal are just looking for something else to be wrong about.

I think that Schultz piece is the first time he has ever praised the Hawks. The guy simply does not like basketball. It comes out in every column he writes.

I Heart Atlanta

November 1st, 2010
11:24 pm

I would cry if smoove was traded

Clyde

November 1st, 2010
11:29 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

November 1st, 2010
11:33 pm

I’ve learned not to let anything surprise me, but after all the posturing about how they love their core, I’d be very surprised to see the Hawks trade one of their three best players and their biggest box-office draw. I have a feeling this is just more speculation from people who don’t know what they are talking about at mainstream media outlets.

Jamal getting traded, I can understand. Josh, no.

truthspitter

November 1st, 2010
11:36 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

November 1st, 2010
11:33 pm

I’ve learned not to let anything surprise me, but after all the posturing about how they love their core, I’d be very surprised to see the Hawks trade one of their three best players and their biggest box-office draw. I have a feeling this is just more speculation from people who don’t know what they are talking about at mainstream media outlets.

Jamal getting traded, I can understand. Josh, no.

Agreed, especially that Smoove is there biggest box office draw being from Metro Atlanta and a pure dunkmaster

Ramon

November 2nd, 2010
12:01 am

With Horford signing an extension, what’s to say he still isn’t the most likely one to be traded if ANY of the big three are traded? With Horford being locked down in a reasonable contract for 5 years, why wouldn’t that be a deal that makes him even more attractive to other teams than him not being extended?

Also, Josh is the only player on the Hawks that other playoff teams fear on defense. Trade Josh, and watch every team in the east begin to celebrate.

ignition

November 2nd, 2010
12:02 am

Smoove is the Hawks Defense, makes no since trading him..

Anthony

November 2nd, 2010
12:05 am

I still like Josh Smith for Carmello Anthony. Just sayin. :)

dz

November 2nd, 2010
12:23 am

I would be very suprised if Josh Smith got traded.

There have been multiple discussions with Sund stating that the ASG likes their core, and think it is a good product to put on the floor every night.

Also, we basically drafted JC’s replacement with JC2.

Suprised we didn’t try to deal Jamaal Crawford though..

Steve

November 2nd, 2010
2:24 am

Jamal is already expiring, so trading him would likely bring back contract liabilities in the future. It’s more prudent to allow him to expire. Then whether Jamal is resigned will really depend on the team’s post-season play. Barring something strange from the new cba, finances shouldn’t force a trade for at least 2 more years. When Josh is entering his last year of his current deal then something might happen, until then I think we just enjoy what we got and hope the core can improve and be competitive come post season.

Smiling Jack

November 2nd, 2010
2:28 am

Can’t you feel the pain of blogers who get the corn cob in sideways instead of straight in? At best this site is a collection of opinions based on very few facts, but the opinions are presented as the final, highest truth. Good night children!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 2nd, 2010
4:07 am

Cut it with the trade J Smash speculations man – that would be devastating to an already skeptical fanbase. Horford is signed – its a fiscally responsible deal. We are 3 and 0, focus on the NOW. The past is history, the future is a mystery – TODAY is a gift and that’s why they call it present.

Big Ray

November 2nd, 2010
4:51 am

Smiling Jack

November 2nd, 2010
2:28 am
Can’t you feel the pain of blogers who get the corn cob in sideways instead of straight in? At best this site is a collection of opinions based on very few facts, but the opinions are presented as the final, highest truth. Good night children!

Your very own opinion being a perfect example of that which you describe. Thanks! :lol:

Big Ray

November 2nd, 2010
4:55 am

I don’t know that the blessed core will be together for the whole season, much less the next two or three years. Not worrying about it.

On the subject of Kevin Love :

Make no mistake about it. Rick Sund gushed about love before and during the draft. He likes him, I can tell you that. If he thought he could get his hands on him, he would be tempted, but I’m not sure what price he’s willing to pay. On the flip side, anything Sund wants to do has to get past one main guy – Michael Gearon. If Mike doesn’t like it, it simply doesn’t happen.

Love may not be too happy up there in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean he would be coming here. As good of a rebounder, passer, and shooter as he can be….the latest rumblings about him and coach Kurt Rambis are heavily associated with his defense. I do NOT see a Josh Smith trade for Kevin Love happening in any way, shape, or form, but then…I don’t know a dang thing, and never claimed to be an expert.

One good reason not to make that move: Love is not a center, and if you move Josh, it better be for a guy that can play some serious time at center, and be able to do so effectively at the center position…something Love does NOT do. The only other thing you trade Josh for is another forward who is an incredible scorer and rebounder. Other than that…

Big Daddy

November 2nd, 2010
7:34 am

Glad the HAWKS worked out a deal for Al. Now he can play without that even being a thought in the back of his mind. We seem really solid now on our core group of players. JJ, Smoove and Al are all locked up and our bench seems to be set. All this is good news. If everybody can now concentrate on the D.

People are going to speculate all year on possible trades, most of which could not be made without crippling the team some other way. We have our team. Let’s cheer them on.

dap01

November 2nd, 2010
7:49 am

Folks, get an excel spreadsheet. It is NOT necessary to trade Josh or any core player. As this year unfolds and even into next year, we should trade the contracts like Bibby’s, ZaZa’s or Jamals. Most people on this blog know more about the Hawks than the sports writers mentioned above.

That being said, there has never been a championship team in the NBA without a very good PG and Center. Why the Hawks keep trying to go without either makes no sense.

Astro Joe

November 2nd, 2010
8:17 am

Najeh said I’ve learned not to let anything surprise me, but after all the posturing about how they love their core, I’d be very surprised to see the Hawks trade one of their three best players and their biggest box-office draw.

Heaven forbid that the Hawks home attendance would slip from around 21st to around 25th. Let’s face it, the Hawks don’t have a legit revenue-producing player… certainly not one that mandates that they stay. And on a squad that has yet to win a 2nd round playoff game, no one should feel like they are untouchable.

That being said, the owners have shown a resistance to change… I doubt anything happens to the core until after the CBA negotiation is finalized.

vava74

November 2nd, 2010
8:23 am

those rumors are all media crap devised to dice the Hawks yet again after they made the right decision and for a good price.

it’s unbelievable the amount of sh!t we get from the press.

JeJe

November 2nd, 2010
8:30 am

“(Not sure why Noah’s deal would force the Hawks to give Al an extension. If they thought $60 million is too much they could have just passed and waited to work out a deal next summer.”

Wow, you obviously have not seen negotiations take place before

sam'l

November 2nd, 2010
8:49 am

No people, to win we have to have Jamal Crawford……Glad we don’t have Shaq….

yodaddy

November 2nd, 2010
8:54 am

Trading Josh Smith would just be beyond dumb because the team won’t have any defense whatsoever. Josh Smith is 25 years old going into his prime. Virtually an All Star lock this year after being snubbed severely last year.

However the Hawks have done stranger things like trading Dominique Wilkins when the Hawks were in first place and he was averaging 25 pts/game…or like when they traded Dikembe for Theo Ratliff of all people.

The front office has proven they aren’t entirely clueless by locking up Al Horford. Bibby, Marvin and Zaza’s contracts still handcuff this team though even though they aren’t as horrible as they seem individually, collectively it’s unacceptable. It’s like 22 mill locked up with those 3.

This essentially means that Jamal Crawford is gone unless he takes a salary around the league average which is like 5 mill or less.

In reality they need to trade Marvin for Tayshaun and keep Jamal Crawford because he’s a sure thing off the bench and tayshaun will bring the D.

Michael Cunningham

November 2nd, 2010
8:58 am

@JeJe: “Wow, you obviously have not seen negotiations take place before”

i don’t see a point anywhere in there.

dukester

November 2nd, 2010
9:13 am

I say we go ahead and go over the cap. If marvin has no trade value we must find a large contract that a team wants to unload. I mean to be honest with the contracts the Hawks have laid out they are “all in” (poker terms) So they might as well shoot for the stars man. While appreciate them trying to put a excellent product on the floor I just really dont feel comfortable with this team Marvin is the main issue. I believe he is the weakest link. So here is my wish list for dumping Marvin for a bad contract for a player that I believe could come in and help us more than Marvin can.

Marvin and Bibby for Baron Davis.
Marvin for Rip Hamilton or Ben Gordon

You see my point somebody that on a given night can put up a little defense on the perimeter and help Josh with penetrating guards and can play with a little confidence. yes they have ugly monster contracts. But I rather pay someone that has heart than to pay someone with no heart. I feel like with Marvin we are in a nascar race with 79 laps to go with that one bad tire that is smoking and I know it will blow and let me down.

dukester

November 2nd, 2010
9:17 am

@ yodaddy I agree with you the whole way about tayshaun prince only problem is Detroit will not do that deal. We will have to take some garbage back to Marvin I hate to say it. But thatt 22 million is what is killin this team. And I mean if Bibby can keep this team settled and mature and hit the open 3 like he has for the whole season he will be cool. I like Teague but he is not ready yet so we need Bibby for that if nothing else.

i_am_soulstar

November 2nd, 2010
9:18 am

We already have Kevin Love w/ better defense. His name is Al Horford. If it means keeping Jamal, Joe, Josh, and Al, I find it hard to believe that the Hawks won’t/can’t trade Marvin for someone’s expiring contract. Screw the unwarranted speculation.

dukester

November 2nd, 2010
9:29 am

Ok I am desperate.

Marvin Bibby Zaza for Gilbert Arenas

Lets see how bad chicago wants to dump luol Deng. LOL

I guess I hate being on the cusp of winning and feeling like we can do this.

This makes me feel like me and my honey are getting it on and she says stop at that “good moment’
LOL

Ok lets all ask marvin to retire!! That wont work either will it.

J from the A

November 2nd, 2010
9:45 am

@MC

I am highly skeptical of the national media’s speculation that the Hawks might put J-Smoove on the trading block. I will remain highly skeptical until I here otherwise from you. So, from as far as you can tell, is my skepticism warranted or might there be some truth in these speculations?

Michael Cunningham

November 2nd, 2010
10:00 am

@ J from the A: “I am highly skeptical of the national media’s speculation that the Hawks might put J-Smoove on the trading block. I will remain highly skeptical until I here otherwise from you. So, from as far as you can tell, is my skepticism warranted or might there be some truth in these speculations?”

it’s just speculation. Ford doesn’t pretend it’s anything but that since, as far as i can tell from his report, he talked to GMs from other teams but not anyone with the Hawks.

this is all very premature. to say that the Hawks will automatically look to trade Smoove at the deadline solely because of money doesn’t make sense. my feeling is Sund and ASG are in wait and see mode with this team. if the “core” philosophy doesn’t work this time, then i could see them making major changes. but, barring a regular season collapse, we won’t know if it works until the playoffs.

yodaddy

November 2nd, 2010
10:12 am

I would not be opposed to that Gilbert Arenas trade talent wise. The only thing about Gilbert is that he’s injury prone, not defensive minded (can play d but doesn’t really have a desire to) and his contract is LONG.

But he can score with the best of them and would make Jamal Crawford redundant here. So in essence it would be more like Crawford, Bibby & Mo Evans for Gilbert. Maybe if Gilbert only had 1 or 2 years left then yes pull the trigger. I don’t know the specifics of Arenas contract but my guess is that he has 3 to 4 years left on that contract which would cause us not to try that.

yodaddy

November 2nd, 2010
10:17 am

I agree that acquiring Kevin Love will create the same problem we already have and that’s two starters at the same position. We will gain Love’s offense but lose a Top 2 defensive player in the NBA.

Defense wins championships so no that is not a good deal if you are trying to compete.

B.O.B

November 2nd, 2010
10:25 am

Send Smoove and Marvin to Denver for Carmelo, Then ship out Jamal to New Jersey for Troy Murphy.

vava74

November 2nd, 2010
10:31 am

Astro,

When ‘Nique played with us – and we are talking the one man biggest show in the league – the Omni also did not sold out.

So, the problem is not the players who are brought to the court, it’s the lack of enthusiasm about pro BBall in ATL.

Durant is a great player but he is not spectacular. He shoots effortlessly but does not dazzle.

Maybe Westbrook dazzles a bit, but honestly, OUR BBALL product is eons better to watch (from a casual fan’s perspective) than OKC’s and there you can hear a constant buzz during games.

Simply in OKC there is little competition for daylight and for fans AND as nire mentioned repeatedly, ATL is a city of transplants with little connection to “ATL” (and apparently bad traffic too).

dukester

November 2nd, 2010
10:34 am

@yodaddy yea I guess your right about Arenas that contract is long. It’s 4 years. But he can play point guard so it wouldnt hurt Jamal’s time on the court.
I am not sure why Kevin Love name is coming up on this blog! Especially being linked with Josh Smith.

All I know is I want a Marvin trade for christmas he really is holding this team down. I will take just about any player we can get for him just to move his contract and weak and soft attitude.

dukester

November 2nd, 2010
10:37 am

@B.O.B Smoove is not going anywhere for anybody and no Troy Murphy will not be traded for jamal.

If you cant see Marvin is the weakest link with this team you dont know basketball.

gclcpa

November 2nd, 2010
10:39 am

dap01, your comment makes no sense. The Bulls won for years but didn’t have a good point guard or center.

Just a question for all you Smith fans that think he is our most valuable player – how many championships do spectacular dunks win? How do you play great defense and not even run back downcourt on defense. He is all flash, no substance. All that athletic ability but no brain or self discipline to go with it. If keeping our fan base is contingent on whether or not we keep Smith, we deserve to lose the team to another city. How many years does Josh need before he grows up and learns what he can and cannot do?

Oh and by the way, 11 points and 8 rebounds is hardly allstar worthy for a PF.

vava74

November 2nd, 2010
10:40 am

“about the biggest one man show”

Astro Joe

November 2nd, 2010
10:41 am

TW, the Chad Ford article did NOT suggest a Josh Smith for Kevin Love trade. The artcile discussed several topics, one being the notion that the Hawks may move Josh and a completely different discussion on whether or not the T’Wolves would move Love (which he said they would not). Somehow, folk have married the two together. He also mention Landry Fields in that same article, but no one is saying that Feilds will be taded for Love or Josh.

Meanwhile, if we’re paying ~$54M in starters in 2011-12, and assuming the luxury threshold remains around $70M after the CBA (which it won’t, but let’s go there for the purpose of this scenario), that would leave around $16M for a minimum of 8 additional players. For those who want a roster that can truly contend for a title, I think it will be challenging to make that happen with a bench full of $2M players. Thus, the speculation that something will need to change before the 2011-12 season.

Hawks Fan From Day One

November 2nd, 2010
10:42 am

@truthspitter:

If you want us to take your comments with any sense of seriousness, how about you stop berating people and calling people stupid idiots. You make good points (from time to time), but they get lost in your wack rants and tirades.

That being said, Marvin is the weak link on this team when it’s all broken down. Trade Bibby and Teague suffers. Trade Smoove and you’ll hear crickets chirping in Philips. Smoove is what makes The Highlight Factory exactly what it is. Stat sheet stuffer. What really needs to happen is Joe needs to re-negotiate his deal and break us off a few extra crumbs to be able to sign whoever we get in exchange for Marvin.

Hawks Fan From Day One

November 2nd, 2010
10:48 am

@ gclcpa:

What’s your problem? We are only THREE games into this season. Can the guys get into a rhythm first before you start dumping all of your frustration on Smoove?? It’s clear that you are not a Josh Smith fan. Meanwhile, he’s our only player that plays defense CONSISTENTLY and you’re just looking for something to whine about. Go watch the Heat then because you’re no ATL fan and we don’t want ya! You want to harp on Smoove of all people? Say that crap about Marvin and you may have a point. Give me a break. At least he shows up to games. How many more years are we going to wait on Marvin to arrive? I’ma need for truthspitter to call you a stupid idiot, too.