The Atlanta Hawks have two starters in Jeff Teague and Al Horford in potential trade rumors. Are the Hawks inevitably going to make a trade before the 18th?
The 2015-16 NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, as all trades this season have to occur before 3:00 PM ET on Thursday, February 18th. Though the Atlanta Hawks are still a playoff team in 2015-16, the amount of trade rumors circulating about two of their starters in point guard Jeff Teague and center Al Horford have begun to increase in recent weeks.
With so many teams interested in both players with the Hawks, is it inevitable that one of both end up getting moved before the February 18th NBA trade deadline?
Keep in mind that both Horford and Teague are the two longest tenured members of the Atlanta Hawks, as neither former All-Star has played for any other NBA team professionally since being drafted by Atlanta several years ago.
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Horford is going to command a maximum contract this summer as he enters free agency. Though he is a top 30 player in the NBA today, Horford’s trade value diminishes as he is playing on an expiring contract.
Essentially, there is no guarantee that he would re-sign with the club that could potentially trade for him. Also, the Atlanta Hawks have Bird Rights on Al Horford, meaning that Atlanta can offer Horford more money and an extra year in contract negotiations this summer.
Moving him doesn’t make a ton of sense unless Atlanta thinks it can re-sign him this offseason. Bird Rights are key to bringing back Horford for a 10th season in Atlanta. Why would the front office give up Bird Rights if they are just going to re-sign him next year anyway?
Jeff Teague however, may actually end up being the piece the Atlanta Hawks do move leading up to the NBA trade deadline. One team that reportedly has interest in Teague is his hometown Indiana Pacers.
Teague, an Indianapolis native, has one more year left on his deal with the Hawks, so it is conceivable that he could play for the Pacers for the next year and a half before entering free agency next summer. The Pacers would have to send their starting point guard George Hill to Atlanta to possibly move Atlanta’s needle to go ahead with the trade.
Given that the Atlanta Hawks are less than a year removed from going 60-22, it’s a little odd to keep seeing some of the team’s marquee players in the middle of trade discussions, especially since the Hawks could potentially get back to the Eastern Conference Finals if they come together post All-Star Break.
As much as fans probably don’t want to see any of their favorite players leave Atlanta in the next nine days, we may have to brace ourselves for an NBA trade deadline deal involving either Al Horford or Jeff Teague. Here’s to the Atlanta Hawks standing pat through another trade deadline and making their roster moves this upcoming offseason.