Eastern Notes: Horford, Ainge, Magic

Al Horford is happy in Atlanta and remains committed to the Hawks, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. “I’ve said it repeatedly. I love the city. My family, we all live in Atlanta, we stay there in the offseason, so my focus is just to keep playing and taking it day by day,” Horford said. The big man will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and the team is thinking “long and hard” about offering him a five-year max deal that would pay him an estimated $32.7MM at the age of 34 years old.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t believe that the Hawks will move any of their key guys before the deadline, Jay King of MassLive relays (Twitter link).
  • The Magic are one of the few teams with an open roster spot and the health of C.J. Watson will influence how the team uses it, Bobby Marks of the Vertical on Yahoo Sports notes. Watson, who signed a three-year, $15MM deal with Orlando last summer, has only played in eight games this season.
  • The only player that Orlando should look to move is Channing Frye, Marks opines in the same piece. The scribe believes that Frye still holds value throughout the league and the Magic shouldn’t shake up their core, as they have a chance to push for a playoff spot with this group. Orlando sits four and a half games behind the Hornets for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

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