Source: C's among favorites to acquire Horford if available

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Source: C's among favorites to acquire Horford if available

SALT LAKE CITY – The Atlanta Hawks have not made a decision on whether they will trade Al Horford but a league source tells CSNNE.com that the Boston Celtics have emerged as one of the favorites to land him if the Hawks decide to part ways with the veteran forward.

Horford, a four-time All-Star, is in the final year of a five-year, $60 million deal that pays him $12 million for this final season.

That means any team acquiring him via trade runs the risk of him being an end-of-the-season rental player with Horford set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Boston would still take that risk, but there would most likely be some reassurances before the deal is consummated that the 29-year-old Horford (He'll be 30 in June) would be strongly considering re-signing with the Celtics for what would most likely be a near-max contract.

Horford was in Toronto last weekend as a last-minute All-Star replacement for the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

I asked him about his status as well as the trade rumors he has been linked to recently.

“For me, I ask for guidance but at the end of the day I understand the business of everything,” Horford said at the time. “I know how everything works. For me, I need to stay diligent, keep doing what I do and whatever happens, happens.”

The Hawks love the talent and leadership that Horford brings, but the team has sputtered recently and appears in need of a shake-up. And while a number of Atlanta player's names have surfaced as potentially being on the move, Horford's name has been relatively constant in such conversations.

And knowing that he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Hawks run the risk of keeping him through the rest of the season and losing him without any form of compensation.

By trading him prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. EST trade deadline, Atlanta would assure themselves of getting something prior to his departure.

NBA reaches seven-year labor agreement with players' union

NBA reaches seven-year labor agreement with players' union

When was the last time you saw any labor contract — not just the NBA, not just pro sports, but in any business — get done before either side could opt-out, let alone the actual deadline?

That’s what happened with the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The teams had until Dec. 15 of last year to opt out, with the real deadline for a new deal being July 1 of this year. Yet the two sides reached a deal before either side even opted out.

Thursday the NBA and National Basketball Players’ Association announced that the new CBA had been signed. It’s a seven-year deal that kicks in July 1.

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