The Celtics have contacted the Hawks to gauge the availability of both Jeff Teague and Al Horford, CSNNE’s Chris Mannix relayed during the network’s broadcast of Friday’s game against the Magic (h/t Darren Hartwell of NESN.com). “Atlanta, I’ve been told, is ready to turn the page, to give the team to Dennis Schröder , their young point guard, who is ready to step up and be a starter,” Mannix said. “Teague is available because Teague has some value. He has another year left on his contract, about $8MM per year, and teams across the league are looking to get him.” The idea that Atlanta is prepared to turn the team over to Schröder runs counter to a report by Zach Lowe of ESPN.com which relayed that the Hawks have “major trust issues” with Schröder, and were hesitant to part with Teague as a result.
“I’ve heard that Boston’s inquired about several players with Atlanta, Teague and Al Horford,” Mannix added. “Teague might seem like a weird fit with this team because they already have point guards, but he is an asset, He’s someone the Celtics could be interested in.” The point guards who Mannix refers to are Isaiah Thomas, who was selected as an All-Star reserve, and 2014 lottery pick Marcus Smart, who has struggled with injuries and his outside shooting since entering the NBA. Teague is making $8MM this year and is set to pull in the same next season as part of the four-year offer sheet he signed with the Bucks in 2013. Atlanta matched that bid, electing to retain him just weeks after drafting Schröder 17th overall.
Celtics executive Danny Ainge is seeking to add a star player to the roster, and Teague would certainly qualify as that, though Boston certainly has more pressing roster and rotation needs. One of those needs is a star big man, a description that Horford most definitely fits, but acquiring the center would represent a greater risk than landing Teague would, as Mannix noted. “Horford, a little more difficult. It would be a gamble going after Al Horford because Al Horford is in the last year of his deal and he’s going to command a salary north of $20MM next year. But as we know and as I just said, Ainge is a gambling GM. He could make a move like that, too.” The 29-year-old has appeared in 48 contests this season and is averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds on 53.7% shooting.