In a desperate attempt to keep the team together, the Hawks are talking with Al Horford about extending his contract. The Hawks Starting Center has an expiring contract next year and would become a restricted Free Agent. The Hawks have until October 31st to sign Al or he will become a Free Agent next summer. In a league where good Centers are hard to come by, Al would be risky to let go into Free Agency next year due to the Hawks’ lack of finances and lucrative contracts other teams are willing to put on the table. If Horford were to go into Free Agency next summer, we would have to match or increase any offer another team offers to Al, or else we lose him. Being a first time All-Star last year, Al would be a big Free Agent next summer with lots of suitors.

The Hawks know this and are looking to get rid of that risk immediately with a contract extension. To gauge his value, the Hawks will be looking at the most recent contract extension with Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls’ young Center. Noah recieved a 5 year $60 Million extension with the Bulls. Noah and Horford are similar due to their potential and their team’s standing in the Eastern Conference. With Noah signing the 5 year $60 Million extension, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Hawks look to extend Horford in the same ballpark. Both would have been highly sought after in next years Free Agency. But, now with Joakim Noah signing a contract extension, this puts even more pressure on the Hawks to extend Horford because now the suitors that were looking at signing Noah next year will be solely looking at Horford. Making Horford a hotter commodity for the Next Free Agency.

While Horford is recieving attention by the Atlanta Hawks, Jamal Crawford has been wondering about his contract extension. Jamal is an unrestricted Free Agent next summer. Jamal has expressed interest since mid-September to sign an extension with the team, but has not gotten the Hawks’ attention, thus requesting a trade demand if an extension was not offered. The Hawks understand his displeasure, but also feel as though he is a secondary problem to Al Horford. It is rumored the Hawks have turned away trade requests for Jamal. The latest with Jamal is him accepting the unlikeliness of signing a contract extension and he is prepared to ‘go elsewhere’ next summer. Coming off of his 6th Player of the Year Award, Jamal would be another Hawk highly sought after if he were to slip into Free Agency next summer. Here is why the Hawks consider Al Horford’s extension and not Jamal’s:

1. Horford is a restricted FA. Next Summer, the highest bidder will win the Al Horford Sweepstakes. Al doesn’t have an option as to where he would like to go. The Hawks are financially strapped and cannot afford the risk of having someone offer Horford a contract higher than we can offer.

2. Jamal is an unrestricted FA. Even though he says he will go somewhere else if he doesn’t get a contract extension, Jamal can still make a choice next summer as to where he would like to play. This means there is an opportunity for him to still play with Atlanta after next summer without an extension.

3. Jordan Crawford. No relation, but Jordan and Jamal have a very similar gameplan. Jordan, 6’5″ SG,  was the 27th pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Not by mistake, the Hawks knew money was going to be an issue and they had 2 BIG Free Agents next summer in Al and Jamal. Jordan, if his NBA game can reflect his college game, makes Jamal easily replaced with an equally talented player who is on a much cheaper contract.

So thank you Hawks for keeping your ducks in a row, your decision to extend Al Horford is BY FAR your priority right now. We love you Jamal for all you do for us and you will by far be one of my favorite Hawks of All Time, but it looks like Joe won this offseason and we cannot afford you. If you’d like to be traded, we might just keep your amazing services until the Trade Deadline. Then we will all be happy.

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