Atlanta Hawks trade rumors have come to an end. Al Horford and Jeff Teague will remain with the Hawks through the trade deadline, with the front office in Atlanta declaring that the team is ready to compete in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. A report from NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski states that the team has expressed this plan to rival general managers as time ticks down to the deadline.
There had been quite a few Atlanta Hawks trade rumors, especially with teams so interested in acquiring either center Al Horford or point guard Jeff Teague. The two All-Star players had generated trade interest from teams like the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, and Toronto Raptors. Now, Horford and Teague will finish out the 2016 NBA season in Atlanta.
The reason that the Hawks had been shopping Al Horford is that he is a free agent in the coming NBA offseason. It’s very likely that with the expected increases to the NBA salary cap that he could go from $12 million this season to getting a max contract. The rumor was that the Hawks aren’t willing to give him around $25 million per season, meaning the team now risks losing him for nothing in free agency.
Jeff Teague was getting shopped because the Hawks have Dennis Schroeder ready to take over as a starting point guard. He has youth on his side and is very affordable to the team. The embarrassment of riches for the Hawks mean that it was possible to trade Teague and improve at another position. Teague still has another season on his contract at $8 million.
There are still going to be a lot of questions and presumably more Atlanta Hawks trade rumors during the NBA offseason. If the team doesn’t plan on re-signing Al Horford at a higher rate, the Hawks may explore trading Jeff Teague for another power forward. The Hawks will also be well under the NBA salary cap, giving them freedom to possibly sign another player to go along with Horford.
Now that the Atlanta Hawks have decided to keep the roster intact, they can begin looking at the second half of the NBA regular season. Currently, the Hawks have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 31-24. The team is also just one game behind the Boston Celtics for the third seed. Finishing third or fourth would guarantee home-court advantage in the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. That’s a big deal, so the team will have to work hard to hold off the Miami Heat in the Southwest Division.
The Atlanta Hawks certainly have a lot of talent on the roster, which could be why the front office decided not to make a major deal before the NBA trade deadline. It’s a risky endeavor, but with more depth than most teams in the East, it also shows a confidence in the current players. Now it is up to Al Horford, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague to serve as leaders to get the team deeper into the postseason. It’s also a chance for Horford to improve his value and add dollars to his next contract by finishing the season strong.
There are certain to be more Atlanta Hawks trade rumors in the offseason, but at least fans of the team can enjoy the rest of the regular season. There are 27 games left for the Hawks to make a real push and build up some momentum for the playoffs. The next game for the Atlanta Hawks comes on Friday, February 19, when the team hosts the Miami Heat. It’s a very important game within the East, one that the team really needs to put in the win column.
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