Al Horford Rumors
May 4 at 9:41pm CST By Ryan Raroque
The future looks very bright for the Rockets
, and Jonathan Feigen of Ultimate Rockets
hears from GM Daryl Morey
that the organization is set on building around the current core of players: “We’re very excited about the foundation...We were careful to make sure all the key pieces could stay. People are going to see mostly the same team back next year because of that."
Considering that they're a young team that pushed the Thunder
to six games after being down three games to none - along with the emergence of Patrick Beverley
- it's difficult to disagree with the optimism in Houston. Here are a few more miscellaneous links we've gathered up tonight:
- Eric Prisbell of USA Today reports that NBA draft hopeful Ben McLemore's AAU coach received cash and other benefits in order to help influence the former Kansas Jayhawk to leave college after one season and declare for the draft.
- Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler tweets that Al Horford is a player that the Hawks would like to keep rather than trade as the team handles a roster that could be in heavy flux.
- Kyler also says that the front runners to sign Josh Smith this summer will be the teams that miss out on Dwight Howard (Twitter link).
- Magic CEO Alex Martins doesn't foresee a long rebuilding period in Orlando and is confident that the team can return to title contention in the near future (John Denton of Magic.com).
- Hawks GM Danny Ferry feels that the 2012-13 season was a very significant year in terms of taking the initial steps toward becoming a contender and likes the flexibility that his team has moving forward (ESPN via the Associated Press).
- Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group looks back on the 10 most important moves the Warriors made to build the team that starts the second round Sunday against the Spurs.
- According to a report from Sportando, Leones de Ponce of Baloncesto Superior Nacional in Puerto Rico have released Garret Siler and replaced him with Mike Harris.
Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors contributed to this post.
December 15 at 2:52pm CST By Chuck Myron
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News examines the fast starts of the Knicks, Warriors, and Hawks, but believes the script could have been drastically different for Atlanta this season. Here's a roundup of a few rumors he's sharing.
- The Hawks offered up Al Horford as part of a strong push to acquire Dwight Howard in August, according to Lawrence, who notes the Hawks will have enough cap flexibility to pursue the Atlanta native when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
- Tom Thibodeau and Bulls management are waging a "cold war" over the coach's heavy minutes for his starters this season, Lawrence hears. Thibodeau offered his side of the argument to reporters yesterday, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago documented.
- Chris Paul, a free agent next summer, had been privately griping about Blake Griffin's play, but has ceased doing so amid an eight-game winning streak for the Clippers, Lawrence writes.
April 25 at 5:20pm CST By Michael Pina
Hawks center Al Horford will not be return for his team's first round series against the Celtics, according to the Associated Press. After waffling back and forth earlier this week, conflicting reports had said Horford might be able to come back in time, but today he said there was no chance he'd be ready for the first round. Horford has missed most of the season after having surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle.
"I have very, very little strength," he conceded. "The playoffs are intense. The intensity goes way up. I can go in and play with the guys in practice here. I might even be able to play in a regular-season game. But the playoffs are different. The way I play, to be most effective to the team, I’m not at that point yet."
Horford is still hoping to play in the second round if the Hawks advance.
April 23 at 5:25pm CST By Luke Adams
Hawks center Al Horford will return from a pectoral injury on Thursday after saying earlier today he thought he would miss the playoffs, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
As Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes, Horford's comments over the last few days sent mixed signals on his playoff eligibility, so this latest development shouldn't come as too much of surprise. Still, it's a huge boost for the Hawks, even though he'll be limited to 15 minutes a game in the first round. Atlanta's frontcourt has been so depleted lately that Josh Smith started at center against the Knicks yesterday.
Here are a few more Monday links from around the league:
March 30 at 7:33pm CST By Alex Lee
With 12 games on the docket, let's round up links from around the league on this Friday night:
- In an insider piece, ESPN's John Hollinger takes a look at what he calls a flawed Clippers' roster. While Vinny Del Negro is taking most of the heat for the team's recent struggles, Hollinger says that poor defense and the lack of a true wing player to go with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the true culprits.
- In the same story, Hollinger says the Bobcats coach Paul Silas has let his son, Stephen Silas, run the team on certain nights and that nepotism is rampant in the NBA. Situations like the one in Charlotte enable guys like Stephen to build their resumes in hopes of landing a bigger job.
- Hawks' beat writer Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution tweets that injured center Al Horford has been cleared for weight work and while he may be able to return for the playoffs, would not be at full strength. Horford has surgery to repair a torn pectoral in January.
March 5 at 11:40am CST By Luke Adams
Deron Williams may have scored a franchise-record 57 points en route to a Sunday victory over the Bobcats, but the news out of Charlotte wasn't all good for the Nets. In just his fifth game back from a foot injury, Brook Lopez rolled his ankle badly and left the arena on crutches. There's still no official word from the team on the severity of the injury, but as Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes, it could deal a serious blow to the Nets' hopes of trading for Dwight Howard in the next ten days.
Lopez isn't the only trade candidate who could be on the shelf as the March 15th deadline approaches. Here are a few more players whose injury statuses may affect the deals their respective teams can make in the next week and a half:
- Jermaine O'Neal: The Celtics would need to include salary to make any deal of substance, so O'Neal's $6.23MM expiring contract made him a prime candidate to be included in a trade to ensure salaries match. Unfortunately for Boston, O'Neal recently suffered a wrist injury and may undergo season-ending surgery. If he elects for the surgery, there's a chance O'Neal could be waived by the Celtics.
- Al Horford: Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group reported last week that the Hawks were still interested in Dwight Howard, perhaps in a deal involving Horford. While such a trade would be a long shot to begin with, Horford's torn pectoral makes it even trickier. Already reluctant to deal Howard, the Magic would probably be even more wary about doing so for a player who is just recently out of a sling.
- Anderson Varejao: Varejao will be re-evaluated this week, but it looks like he won't return to the Cavs' lineup until after March 15th. Before the injury, the Cavs said they didn't intend to trade Varejao, though there was some speculation that stance could change by the deadline. With Varejao still out, he'll definitely be remaining in Cleveland.
- Jordan Hill: Among the Rockets' numerous former lottery picks on expiring contracts, Hill is the most attractive asset. While that may be faint praise, Hill has been the most productive of the group of four 2009 draftees that also includes Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn, and Terrence Williams, and his salary ($2.86MM) is very reasonable. However, a sprained MCL has kept Hill out of action for the last couple weeks, and even though he expects to return within the next week, he won't have much time to showcase his health before the deadline.
- J.J. Hickson: The Kings are reportedly quite interested in moving Hickson, but they've stumbled upon a roadblock besides his disappointing production this season -- he'll miss his third straight game tonight with a hip pointer.
- Thabo Sefolosha: Having missed 18 games with a foot injury, Sefolosha is shooting jump shots again, but it doesn't appear he's ready for game action yet. Steve Kyler wrote this morning that the Thunder could try to acquire a replacement if the team feels Sefolosha will miss much more time. The 6'7" wing also represented a potential trade asset for the Thunder, but questions about his health will hurt his value.
- Andrea Bargnani: Bargnani seems to be getting closer to returning from a calf injury, and could be back in plenty of time for the trade deadline, but it may not matter either way. As Kyler reported today, the Raptors are getting inquiries on Bargnani, but don't seem interested in dealing him.
February 29 at 6:24pm CST By Luke Adams
Orlando's roster could have an entirely new look a month from now, and Magic players are all aware of that fact. Nonetheless, as they tell Joshua Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, their goal for the second half will be to avoid being weighed down by off-court distractions and focus on playing good basketball. Here's the latest on Dwight Howard, who figures to dominate Orlando's on- and off-court headlines in the coming weeks:
- Add the Hawks to the list of potential Howard suitors. Marcus Thompson, while looking for Warriors rumors for the Bay Area News Group, tweets that Atlanta is offering Joe Johnson and Al Horford to the Magic for D12. Howard grew up in Atlanta and went to high school at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. Thompson notes that Howard and Hawks forward Josh Smith are friends.
- Howard wants the Magic to pursue Steve Nash, and would consider staying at least another year in Orlando if the team can acquire Nash and re-sign him, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. Of course, given the Suns' current stance on their point guard, such an acquisition would be a challenge.
- An Eastern Conference executive tells Chris Broussard of ESPN.com that he thinks if Howard is dealt by March 15th, it will be to the Nets, but the longer the saga drags on, the better the Mavericks' odds become. While the Knicks and Clippers aren't on Howard's list of preferred destinations, Broussard says D12 would consider both teams, though neither has engaged the Magic in trade talks.
- The Warriors say they're not interested in trading Monta Ellis unless he's part of a package for Howard, sources tells Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).
- We covered some Howard-related links in our notes on the Warriors earlier this morning, as Golden State remains in the hunt for the Magic superstar. SI.com's Zach Lowe confirms the Warriors would be willing to acquire Howard without assurances he'd sign long-term or even opt into the final year of his contract next season. This seems a little crazy to me, but as Lowe points out, Golden State will likely have to break up its core at some point to become a legit title contender anyway. I suppose if the Warriors were able to deal David Lee along with Ellis and others, even just renting Dwight would create a ton of cap flexibility for future seasons. Still, I don't think it's a likely scenario.