NBA rumors: Rockets to pursue Al Horford, Ryan Anderson in free agency

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Feb. 27, 2012 ATLANTA: The winner of the Professional Athlete of the Year, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford and his wife Amelia Vega Horford arrive on the red carpet for the Atlanta Sports Awards at the Fox Theater, Monday, Feb 27, 2012. The couple were recently married. Curtis Compton

Atlanta Hawks’ big man Al Horford is the top free agency target of the Houston Rockets this summer. Other stars like Ryan Anderson, Blake Griffin and Jimmy Butler are also on the team’s radar.

Houston will be approaching the upcoming free agency with a specific plan. Dwight Howard is expected to leave the team. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News report explains general manager Daryl Morey’s “want” list and versatile forward features at the top of it.

“It’s not a great year for free agency, but the Rockets will be searching for shooting, especially a versatile forward who can spread the floor.

A person familiar with the organization told Sporting News that landing Al Horford is the Rockets’ top-line goal in free agency, and Pelicans’ Ryan Anderson also would be a possibility. Also, expect Morey to be creative in pursuing sign-and-trade deals involving star players like Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and Knicks‘ Carmelo Anthony, should they become available.” Wrote Deveney.

Horford has been a positive offensive and defensive player throughout the last seven years of his career. He is a decent playmaker, sharpshooter and his defensive prowess is impressive as well.

During the last season, the Hawks’ All-star posted averages of 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.7 blocks per game on 50.5 percent shooting from the field and 34.4 percent from the three-point range. The Rockets’ management want the 30-year-old as their next season’s starting power forward.

Free agent Ryan Anderson has also been targeted as a sharp-shooting forward. Griffin and Butler’s availability are still uncertain, as both players are expected to stay back with their current teams.

Photo Courtesy: Curtis Compton/

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