Blog Entry

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

Posted on: November 1, 2010 1:48 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:22 pm
The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly agreed to terms with Al Horford on a 5-year contract extension. Posted by Ben Golliveral-horford
Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Twitter that the Atlanta "Hawks and Al Horford agree to terms on 5 year $60 million contract extension. Incentives still to be negotiated." Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports confirms the contract details on Twitter. Horford, 24 years of age and currently in his fourth year with the Hawks after attending the University of Florida, has established himself as a solid, talented young big man in the NBA. Taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 draft, behind Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, Horford has averaged right at nine rebounds per game during all three of his NBA seasons. He's also increased his scoring average from 10 points to 11.5 points to 14.2 points during those three years. The reported contract is similar in size to one signed earlier this fall by Horford's former teammate at Florida, Joakim Noah, who agreed with the Chicago Bulls on a 5-year, $60 million deal. Two comparable deals from last year: No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft, LaMarcus Aldridge ($5 years, $65 million) and No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft, Andrea Bargnani ($5 years, $50 million).   Ken Berger of reports that Noah's deal may have influenced Atlanta's decision to extend Horford.
Horford joins only Kevin Durant and Joakim Noah among high-profile 2007 draft picks who will be getting extensions. Horford's deal marks a philosophical shift for Hawks GM Rick Sund, who has almost without exception declined to do such extensions in the past. Given uncertainty over a new collective bargaining agreement, few teams are extending their 2007 picks before the deadline. Sources say the Hawks' hand was forced by the Bulls' decision to give Noah a five-year, $60 million extension. 
Given that Horford has yet to enter his prime, has averaged nearly a double-double for three straight seasons and has missed only 17 games in three years, the deal represents great value for the Hawks. They certainly won't be panned by the critics for this one, like they were after re-signing Joe Jonson to a 6-year, $119 million extension this summer. Update: The Hawks have officially announced the deal in a press release to the media. Some quotes and notes from the release are excerpted below.
“From the moment he arrived in Atlanta, Al has been a large part of our success,” said Hawks GM Rick Sund.  “The winning tradition he brought to the franchise as a rookie out of Florida has extended to three consecutive playoff seasons in a Hawks uniform.  In addition, he was deservedly recognized as an All-Star last year, and we certainly look forward to his continued development as we move forward.” Eighth in the NBA in field goal percentage, Horford was also among the league’s leaders in rebounding (10th), offensive rebounding (tied for ninth) and blocks (26th).  He recorded a team-leading 39 double-doubles (11th in the NBA) and posted 12 20-point games and a career-high 31 on February 7 at the Los Angeles Clippers. Having reached the postseason in every one of his three seasons, he has averaged 11.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 games, with a 20/10 performance in his playoff debut (the first Hawk to do so) – 20 points and 10 boards against the Boston Celtics.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2010 12:34 am

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

... this is just another way for David Stern to increase the bottom line for the league, which in return increases his bonus and salary

I think you hit the nail on the head.  Stern is always looking for ways to improve and increase the revenue for the owners and the league management.    Unfortunately, this usually comes as a detriment to the players.  Stern is quick to dangle "NBA expansion to Europe", but he doesn't address how he'd be able to expand.

Stern needs to focus on making the NBA better.  Quit with the pipe dreams.  If he wants to cap the players' salaries, then he needs to cap the revenue each owner makes, as well as the NBA management's salaries.  It's always funny to me to see the "shirts" dictate labor cuts for the players, while not looking to cut their own salaries.

It's beyond obvious to me that Stern needs to flush the "technical" rule he imposed this year, which is taking away from the game.  A little trash talking is good, but the way the rule is being interpretted and used, is making the game less entertaining.  Sure, the players need to stop all the whining, but fans get stoked when they see the players show a little moxie when they play.  There has to be a better way of officiating these games.

I also think the league does need to shrink in team size.  There are eight (8) teams that continue to struggle (Minnesota, Milwaukee, Detroit, Charlotte, Toronto, LA Clippers, Memphis, and Sacramento) financially and with filling the stands.  Stern should consider dropping these teams and either:

  1. Increasing the number of players on each remaining team from 15 to either 18 or 20; or
  2. Expanding the NBA into Europe (as Stern has intimated), by moving the 8 failing teams to London, Spain, France, Russia and Germany.
If the NBA is losing $400-800M per year, it has to be from television revenue and ticket sales.  In bad economic times, like what we're having right now in the U.S., fans not purchasing the "NBA League Pass" or not paying $150+ per game is probably taking its toll on these teams.  Stern has to understand that he can no longer expect to reap huge royalties or payouts.

Don't punish the players for the deals they're able to ink; punish the team owners and their lousy management.  Just remember ... the players are the "pawns" in all of this.

Since: Mar 23, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2010 11:45 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

It's hard to side with David Stern and the owners when above average players get these ridiculous contracts.

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2010 10:54 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

I understand why the Hawks want to keep Al Horford he's one of the best young centers in the league, what I don't understand is the logic of signing him before the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  To say their hands were forced by the Bulls' decision to give Noah an extension doesn't make any sense, more than likely the salary structures will be reduced and he still would've been a restricted free-agent, not a unrestricted free-agent.  Meaning they would've been able to match any offer made by another team.  Commissioner Stern will have a hard time selling the notion that the League is losing money when Atlanta has already dished out $124 million for Joe Johnson and another $60 million for Al Horford's deal.  In total the owners have shelled out over $1 billion in contractual agreements since the start of free-agency this past summer.  According to commissioner Stern the league is seeking a decrease in total player salaries by about $750 million to $800 million, or an approximate 33 percent rollback overall.  I guess Hawks GM Rick Sund didn't get that Memo?  This deal probably signals the end in Atlanta for Josh Smith and maybe Jamal Crawford, the Hawks are currently on the books for next season for Johnson ($18.5 million in 2011-12), Josh Smith ($12.5 million in 2011-12), Marvin Williams ($8 million in 2011-12) and Horford ($12 million in 2011-12).  More than likely they'll look to trade by the February deadline and move some pieces in order to help free up some space to sign Crawford.



Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: November 1, 2010 8:02 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

Like the Hawks really had any other choice. After that Joe Johnson contract, the Hawks are so far over the salary cap that they wouldn't be able to find a comparable replacement if they had let Al Horford go.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2010 7:12 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

A good move: Horford is worth the money. As a Raptor's fan I would trade Bargani and his 5 years 50 million for any of the others who have received the extension. Bosh was right, Aldridge was a better selection than Bargnani. Bargnani continues to play way too soft.

Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2010 6:08 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

Good extension by a team that is just that, good and that is it. Question: why doesn't this team take a swing at a big name. I understand Johnson is unmovable but Williams, Josh Smith, Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford are all guys who you could sell to someone else on potential (especially Smith who's probably the best combination of Strength and athleticism in the league...I'm serious). Why not try to get in on the Melo sweepstakes? Why not see if Devin Harris is there for the taking? What about Steve Nash in Larry Drew's motion offense (you know you don't want to stay in Arizona much longer Steve...)? Oh that's right...this is the same front-office that signed Johnson to a 119 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL WHEN HE HAS TWO MORE YEARS OF HIS PRIME LEFT!!!!! Silly me.

Enjoy Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Michael Turner, Jayson Heyward, what's left of Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson, Dustin Byfuglien Atlanta. But most all, enjoy winning no more than 50 games and losing no more than 40 the next five or so years. Welcome to NBA purgatory.

Since: May 30, 2007
Posted on: November 1, 2010 6:01 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

kid is only in his 4th year and is the anchor for Atlanta in the middle...solid double-double guy with intangibles that is only getting better each year.  good signing...not sure why you object so strongly.

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: November 1, 2010 3:39 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

So much for the NBA attempting to cut down on player salaries.  Since when does a guy who averages 14 pts. and 9 boards per game warrant $12 mil. per year.  I guess the Hawks had no choice if they want to stay competitive, but $12 mil?  (that's million with an "M" to play a game?)  Call me old fashioned, but these salaries are way out of line with reality.

Hopefully the owners will some day come to their senses and stop the insanity, but I guess they are making money for themselves even at these salary levels.  Until the average fan stops paying $150 per game to see an NBA game, these salaries will just keep getting more and more obscene.  

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2010 2:43 pm

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

Good signing by the Hawks. Young big man like Hoford at that price is a steal.


however, the deals last summer by lots of teams including the hawks and these extensions now make me think that David Stern is lying when saying the league is losing 400-800 million per year as a whole. If they were these teams, like memphis, phoenix, atlanta woudln't be giving out the stupid contracts that they did this past year to guys like frye, rudy gay, joe johnson. Then you have Al "Buckets" harrington with his contract that he got from Denver.

Teams are flushed in cash IMO and this is just another way for David Stern to increase the bottom line for the league, which in return increases his bonus and salary;

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or