Southeast Notes: Horford, Millsap, Wall

Hawks coach/executive Mike Budenholzer deflected a question about whether he intends to make a max offer to soon-to-be free agent Al Horford, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution relays. Still, Budenholzer’s reluctance to give a direct answer is probably because the sides technically can’t have negotiations on a new contract until July 1st, when Horford’s existing deal expires, and Vivlamore has said before that the Hawks indeed plan to make a max offer“It is the day after the season,” Budenholzer said Monday. “All those things, you will have to call his agent. He is incredibly valuable to us.”

See more on Horford, who sits No. 4 in our latest 2016 Free Agent Power Rankings, amid other news from the Southeast Division:

  • Paul Millsap, who re-signed with the Hawks last summer, will take a hands-off approach rather than put on a hard press to recruit Horford back to the team, Vivlamore notes in the same piece. “If he wants my two cents, he’ll ask for it,” Millsap said. “I don’t like to butt into other people’s business but I think he knows from talking to me last year what the process is going to be like. I think Al knows that every player on this team appreciates everything that he did. Love him like a brother. We know how important he is to us but it’s up to him to make his decision.”
  • The Wizards said John Wall is expected to be ready for the start of next season after undergoing procedures on both knees last week, but it’s not entirely clear whether he’ll recover in time for training camp, which begins in late September, observes Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post.
  • The Hornets should offer the max to Nicolas Batum and pursue rim protectors, including Charlotte-area native Hassan Whiteside, instead of a new deal with Al Jefferson in the offseason ahead, opines Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer, who lists seven items on his proposed to-do list for the team.

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