Horford Injury May Prod Hawks To Make Move

December 31 2013 at 3:10pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Hawks are planning their next move in the wake of Al Horford‘s surgery today on a torn pectoral muscle that will keep him out for the season. The front office is evaluating its options to upgrade its depth and talent with the big man out, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That suggests the club could be looking at a roster move.

The Hawks are under the cap, so they couldn’t apply for a disabled player exception that would help them acquire a player via free agency or trade. They can only clear about $2MM worth of cap room, and while they have the $2.652MM room exception at their disposal if they want to sign a player, it probably wouldn’t take more than the minimum salary to bring in a free agent at this point. They’re at the 15-man roster limit, but they have three players on non-guaranteed deals (Mike ScottCartier Martin, and Shelvin Mack) whom they could waive to clear a spot.

GM Danny Ferry‘s roster is “built to trade,” as Grantland’s Zach Lowe wrote earlier in the season, so it’s reasonable to expect the team to explore a swap of some kind. Lowe wrote in the same piece that Ferry had been turning down offers for Horford, and even though the big man is injured, I’d be surprised if Ferry changed his stance, since Horford is under contract for the relative bargain price of $12MM a season through 2015/16.

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