With a 50-50 chance on November 1st for the Hawks to resign the All-Star Center to a contract, Al Horford and the Atlanta Front Office have agreed to resign him to a five year $60 Million. This deal is equivalent to the extension deal Joakim Noah received from the Chicago Bulls a couple months ago. This is fair due to Horford and Noah both being highly valued, servicable, young Centers in the league. The Hawks had to resign the Restricted Free Agent (RFA) by the 11:59pm deadline on Monday to prevent him from being on the market next summer.

An RFA is different from an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) where an RFA signs with the team that offers the highest bid for him. Hypothetically, if Al were to become an RFA , this is what would happen: In the summer, after another team signed Al to an offer sheet, the Hawks would of had 7 days to match the offer. If the contract was matched by the Hawks, they would get the upper hand putting Horford under contract with the Hawks. If the contract was not matched in 7 days, then the other team’s offer sheet would become Horford’s official contract and his services would no longer be available to the Hawks. This situation could of been a good thing or a bad thing for the Organization. The Hawks obviously want to attain Al Horford, but if the Hawks had not resigned him, they would of had no control over how much money they would have to toss over to keep him. Teams could under-value him and then the Hawks could haved signed Al to a cheaper contract, or other teams could over-value him (most likely) and could have made the Hawks overpay for Al’s talent.

In the summer of 2008, Josh Smith was not resigned to an extension and was told by the Hawks to test the waters and see how much teams would offer for his services. This put pressure on Josh to set his own price with teams. The Hawks were prepared to match any offer given to Josh. The Philadelphia 76ers and Memphis Grizzlies were the largest players for Josh that summer. After discussions with Philadelphia, the 76er’s loved his talent towards the game, but they put him on the backburner as their priority resided in L.A. with a highly sought after Elton Brand. After the hiccup from Philadelphia, the Memphis Grizzlies jumped on board and signed Josh to a five-year $58 Million offer sheet that the Hawks quickly matched. The Hawks dodged a bullet with Josh Smith, a potential All-Star, not attaining maximum offers and signing him to a rediculously low contract.

Although Josh Smith is a potential All-Star, here are the key differences as to why Josh Smith was not extended and Al Horford was before their summers of Restricted Free Agency:

1: Al Horford IS an All-Star. Last year, he was brought to the Eastern All-Stars as a reserve backup Center and was one of the youngest players to attaign this feat.

2. Al is a Center. Sure, he plays out of his natural position of PF, but he is STILL an effective and All-Star Center. His versatility is rare and highly sought after.

So, thank you Hawks Front Office for making sure your All-Star Center did not go on the market next summer. This decision will pay off when you see next years Free Agent Centers be highly valued and overpaid. Here is a highlight reel of what you spent your money on:

  1. Hello!, Very interest angle, we were talking about the same thing at work and found your site very stimulating. So felt compelled to com?ment a little thank you for all your effort. Please keep up the great work your doing!

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