Al Horford Free Agency Update: Lakers to slug it out with Hawks to land prized center

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks are rumored to be in for a slugfest as to who could land prize free agent Al Horford.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks are rumored to be in for a slugfest as to who could land prized free agent Al Horford and word is swelling that the Hawks are in the lead as of the moment.

Horford signed a five-year contract extension with the Hawks worth $60 million guaranteed back in 2010. This year he has a base salary of $12 million and has a dead cap of $24 million to his name. He has opted to be a free agent going into the summer hoping for a higher pay check and hope that the Hawks could lay down a better offer or he will start listening to other teams with the Lakers next in line.

Horford has always loved the city of Atlanta and told Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is more than willing to come back and play for the Hawks again and to make that playoff run again with the team.

“It means a lot. I’ve set up here with my family. We all live here. We live here in the summer. We live here year-round. I’m very grateful for all the people here. They have taken me in from the very first day, even though I was a Gator. They loved me. I really love the city,” Horford said.

Horford was selected by the Hawks as their first round pick and 3rd overall during the 2007 NBA Draft and has played all of his nine years with the Hawks, aside from playing for the Dominican Republic National squad.

During the regular season, Horford has been consistent with his numbers averaging 15.2 points per game with 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists though his playoff number were still consistent with 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, three assists and 2.4 blocks making him a suitable market value among the top free agents.

Aside from loving the city, Horford also voiced out the Hawks are playing right and by sticking to their “system” they could very well get pass the first round next season. He also noted that having the right pieces on hand, the Hawks can improve and be a contender.

“I believe it. I believe it in my heart. I believe that the way we play makes us successful. We just have to figure out how we can take that next step as a group,” Horford added.

The Hawks must find a way to make it possible for Horford to stay or else they will lose one of the pillars of their team that could help them reach their goals for next season.

Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

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