10:52pm: While the Hawks remain involved in the Horford sweepstakes, they have yet to offer him the full max, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com.
10:30pm: The Hawks committed more than $140MM to Kent Bazemore and Dwight Howard on Friday, greatly reducing the odds of Al Horford returning to Atlanta. For his part, Horford also had a busy July 1st, having held free agent meetings with four teams, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter).
Earlier in the day, we heard that the Celtics were among the teams to meet with Horford in Atlanta today, and Boston was expected to put a maximum-salary offer on the table for the free agent big man. Wojnarowski adds the Rockets and Wizards to the list of teams to meet with Horford today, though the identity of the fourth team isn’t known — it’s possible it was the Hawks, though the Thunder and several other teams are also believed to be in the hunt.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Hawks haven’t backed out of the Horford sweepstakes quite yet, even after striking $70MM deals with Bazemore and Howard. Windhorst reports that Atlanta has been involved in trade talks that would help the team clear the space necessary to bring back Horford, if he wants to return, and Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter) that the Hawks’ contract negotiations with Horford have been ongoing.
Windhorst didn’t name any specific players as trade candidates for Atlanta, but I would think Tiago Splitter and his $8.55MM cap hit would be at or near the top of the list. A Paul Millsap deal is a possibility as well. Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com reports (via Twitter) that a trade involving Millsap and Suns draft picks has been “pondered” in recent days.
Per Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), the Celtics had apparently hoped to secure an agreement with Horford and then bring him to their meeting with Kevin Durant on Saturday. However, it doesn’t appear Horford will decide on his destination tonight — Wojnarowski says that decision will likely happen over the weekend sometime.