Posted: 11:27 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Should the Hawks trade Horford? Not now, I say 

By Mark Bradley

"Take my advice: You'd rather tear a pectoral than break a foot." (Jason Getz/AJC)

“Take my advice: You’d rather tear a pectoral than break a navicular” (Jason Getz/AJC)

Danny Ferry just reminded me of this: “The first time we ever talked — two years ago in Centennial Tower (where the Atlanta Hawks’ offices are located) — you said, ‘You might have to trade Al Horford to get where you want to go.’ “

Not that I have a one-track mind — and not that I know anything about anything — but here it is 2014 and I’m still thinking the same. With Ferry as general manager, the Hawks have become a pretty good team with a very good coach and a clear idea of how they want to play. As Ferry said this morning, “I like and I value Al. I think he’s an important part of our group. He fits the values we have and fits how we want to play.”

I would disagree with none of the above. He’s an excellent player and a terrific teammate. If the NBA were a perfect world, no team would ever part with a player like Horfy. But there has been speculation that the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold the draft’s No. 1 pick yet again, might be willing to trade it for an established big man, which Horford, even coming off a second torn pectoral muscle, assuredly is.

Trouble is, Horford isn’t quite a superstar, and superstars rule the basketball realm. Superstars also tend to be landed via the draft, as opposed to arriving in trade or as free agents. The question, then: If you’re the Hawks, would you make such a deal for the No. 1 pick?

A week ago I’d have said yes. Today I’m saying no. The best prospect in the draft is — or at least was — Joel Embiid, the Kansas center. Embiid just underwent surgery for a broken bone and isn’t expected to play again for four to six months, and that’s not the worst of it. He broke the navicular in his right foot, which is considered in basketball circles a bad bone to break.

As Dr. Ben Wedro told Dan Feldman of ProBasketballTalk: “In a large 7-footer, it may be that the bones in his foot may not be able to support the size of his body.”

There’s almost no chance Embiid will be taken No. 1 overall Thursday night. There’s a chance he could slide out of the top five. Foot injuries are tricky, especially for big men. (Ask Bill Walton or Yao Ming, whose brilliant NBA careers were compromised by navicular breaks.) If the Hawks, who hold the No. 15 pick, could trade up and land him at No. 5 or thereabouts, that would be a risk worth taking — but not if the price includes Horford.

There’s no way the Hawks should trade Horford now because there’s no one in the draft who’s guaranteed to be a better player than Horfy is already. Embiid’s injury casts a shadow over his future; after Embiid, his KU teammate Andrew Wiggins has the greatest potential, but there’s a reason he’s no longer being called The Next LeBron.

A healthy Embiid would have, at least in my addled mind, been enough to make the Hawks think hard about dealing their best player. The point, for better or worse, has been mooted.

54 comments
Columbus68
Columbus68

Pick would have been traded if Cavs wanted Embrid IMO so he never would of went #1 hurt or not...

Columbus68
Columbus68

Embrid wasnt going #1 anyway. Maybe you meant the best big man prospect...

akil
akil

Why would you trade AL now that you have a coach and system that fits his skill set. Sign Houston's SF Parsons for 4 years at $ 7-8 per. He's a rising star and a potential attendance creator. Draft the best available big man and with 2nd round pick draft a defensive 2 guard.


Keep BeBe, Muscala, and Scott and Mack expendable!

Lou will be healthy and the scoring punch off the bench

Dennis and JJ must step up

slydawg
slydawg

It's amazing how little most people know about basketball. Healthy foot or not, Embid is not a top 5 pick in this lottery pool. Parker, Randle, then Wiggins, in that order. The Hawks either need to trade up and get Rodney Hood or stay put and select Anderson. Everything will flow from there. If you must trade Horford, make a go at either Randle or Marcus Smart. Simple as that.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I'd trade him for an autographed picture of Bobby Petrino falling off his Harley!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I'd trade him for a photo of Rosie O'Donnell in the shower - make me an offer!

Ok now I'm getting delirious...

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I'd trade the always-hurt Horford right now for a bowl of Jello and an IOU - r u kidding me? I'd trade him for a Bruster's ice cream cone, a BJ Upton rookie card, a used Yugo.

Come to think of it, can I just pay you to unload his contract off of me?? Even Joe Johnson at least played as did Josh Smith. Horford's like a car that's always in the shop - costing me a fortune!

RodfromCollegePark
RodfromCollegePark

" The previous Hawks group didnt have a clue how to work together on offense and played matador defense against Rose, Lebron, Wade, and any other star that showed up.  They got as far as they did just on pure athletic ability.  The only way for the Hawks to have a chance at getting better was to break that team up."

The previous Hawks group was always top 10 defensively.  So you are incorrect.  Also LD in his first year as head coach went to Game 6 of the second round.  This team finished below .500 and lost in the first round.  Those are the facts.

Really666
Really666

I would trade Horford for the number one pick and take Andrew Wiggins.  Then signed Greg Monroe to take Horford's place. 

Pistol66
Pistol66

Before Horford was injured, the Hawks had one of the best records in the East!  They were right there with Miami and just behind Indiana.  They need a consistent shooter to back up and compliment Koerver and a big man to bolster the front line.  They should be able to find one or the other in this draft. 

JaySly
JaySly

atl needs a total makeover--trade horford, clean out the deadwood on this roster and start over.  im tired of these bad teams in atl--i may only go to a few games next year

MikeS777
MikeS777

Let me add to all those who actually think the previous Hawks teams were better off...Charles Barkley and the TNT crew actually had a lot of good things to say about this Hawks team and the direction coach Bud is taking them.  They went so far as to call the Indiana series the Jeff Teague coming out party.  All this coming form a crew that made making fun of the Hawks into an art form...that is if they would say anything past "oh the Hawks are going to lose." lol

The previous Hawks group didnt have a clue how to work together on offense and played matador defense against Rose, Lebron, Wade, and any other star that showed up.  They got as far as they did just on pure athletic ability.  The only way for the Hawks to have a chance at getting better was to break that team up.

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

"There’s no way the Hawks should trade Horford now because there’s no one in the draft who’s guaranteed to be a better player than Horfy is already."


First of all, the Bobby Cox style nickname is pretty terrible.


Secondly, you are out of your mind if you wouldn't trade Horford for the #1 pick in this draft. The right thing to focus on isn't whether one of the rookies is "guaranteed" to become better than Al; it is the fact that Al is guaranteed to never become a superstar, whereas one of them might. 

tyger
tyger

JUST SAY NO TO SLO MO'

moboman
moboman

Didn't Kevin Willis have the same injury?  If so it never recurred.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Teague, Horford, Millsap, you can build around these players.


Add a Superstar  to this team.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MikeS777
MikeS777

No do not trade Horford for this year's draft.  It's just not going to be worth it.  I want to see what this team can do when healthy.  Not only did they have to play most of the season without Horford last year, but others like Milsap and Korver missed significant time.  It's why the Hawks record was under .500.

Teague and Korver ended up with career best seasons.  Milsap at least matched his career best.  Carroll came out of nowhere to be a major contributer as well as Antic and Mack.  Mike Scott had that lights out shooting game against Indiana, as series we led 3-2 before losing in 7.

When's the last time a Hawks team fought like that in a series?  Who would have expected this from a group that was sort of cobbled together?

So lets see what Coach Bud can do with this lineup healthy.  I think Horford will be a fantastic addition to the lineup that would have beaten Miami.

RodfromCollegePark
RodfromCollegePark

"Hawks have "become" a pretty good team????


What were they before???

They're the same freaking team!!!

In fact, they are worse..."

DING!!!!DING!!!DING!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Hawks have to trade Lou for cap space.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

STARTERS


TEAGUE, CARROLL,  LEBRON OR CARMELO, MILLSAP, HORFORD


BENCH


MACK, KORVER,  #15 CLEANTHONY EARLY, SCOTT, ANTIC


RESERVE


JENKINS, SCHROEDER


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

seminoleking
seminoleking

i like asik and millsap in the front court vs horford and millsap............

patriotdog
patriotdog

The NBA, outside of San Antonio, barely resembles the sport of basketball.

So, I say, who cares?

TowneLake
TowneLake

I agree Horfy is NEARLY untouchable. Give up this years and next years 1st & 2nd round picks and possibly any young player for Kevin Love of Minnesota. They want to rebuild, we get our Tim Duncan for our system to play for championships. Game Over...

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Horford is your only true star on the team you have to keep him, plus he is a loyal person in the organization who loves the ATL.


Do Lebron James like the city of Atlanta ?


Will Carmelo consider to come play for Hawks ?


DF need to get a big time Super Star to even have a chance for NBA title, your not winning unless you have Super Stars on your team.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Birdhair
Birdhair

Ferry is a great gm unlike clown at turner field. Not worried about hawks mgmt decision making

JackClemens
JackClemens

He's really good and a leader, but now he's missed huge chunks of two seasons with the same injury. Scares me, but sure, maybe staying put with him is the way to go. He has stuck with the Hawks.

tyger
tyger

Hawks have "become" a pretty good team????


What were they before???

They're the same freaking team!!!

In fact, they are worse...


1st rd exits are par for course..

1st rd exit is a 1st rd. exit..

No difference..


Better coach my arse...

38 wins usually gets you fired...

No less a DUI..

tyger
tyger

VINDICATION = PROGESS!


However, the Hawks are also not completely sold on Jeff Teague and could explore the market for him this summer. That's led them to take long looks at both Shabazz Napier and Payton at No. 15 if something materializes in the next few days. Napier, especially, seems to have gained momentum in workouts the past few weeks, and sources say he's moved into a strong possibility in Atlanta. ESPN.com - See more at: http://hoopshype.com/rumors.htm#sthash.GSTRH1Do.dpuf

beech0101
beech0101

The thing you failed to mention, Mark, is the fact that were talking about Danny Ferry here. Al is a veteran player that without a doubt helps this team play the type of basketball that Coach Bud and Ferry want to play; therefore, it would be incredibly far fetched for them to trade him for a young prospect who has yet to prove himself. Ferry has shown us two things in his campagin as GM thus far: 1. The ability to dump unhealthy salaries 2. Draft prospects who have potential and wont be forced to play right away. Him trading away Al for a young prospect to come in and play right away sounds very unlike him.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Can we trade this ratchet blog system that wont let me post the word


NO!

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

Truth is, Horford is an injury risk himself.  According to an orthopedic surgeon I know, a pectoral tear is a very unlikely injury.  This injury happening twice on different sides is extremely uncommon.  Which is to say, there is probably something in Horford's physiology that is vulnerable to this kind of injury.  Considering that, it may be wise to trade him anyway, just maybe not for Parker or Wiggins.  (Though I still think Parker could be the scorer the Hawks need).  

Ersatz
Ersatz

Did the hockey team or women's basketball ever get this kind of coverage? The coverage is crap, but just curious. No teams in this town are winning anything in our lifetimes.

Wilbo
Wilbo

I second that: who cares about he Hawks? 


When the Braves drop into 3rd place in the East tonight, can we please stop caring about them as well?


MikeS777
MikeS777

Also, don't forget this Hawks team broke an 8 game road playoff losing streak when they beat Indiana in game 1.  The previous group would win at home for a game or two, then get blown out on the road.

Ms_Dee
Ms_Dee

@NajehDavenpoop


"whereas one of them MIGHT"...that's the question...MIGHT, whereas u have a 2-time allstar in HORFORD..no way I trade him without Joel Embiid sitting right there at the top!! 

MikeS777
MikeS777

@RodfromCollegePark No they weren't a pretty good team before.  They were a collection of athletes that could overwhelm lesser teams but would get completely wiped out by actual contenders in the playoffs.  I mean in totally embarrassing fashion.

This group runs a real system, moves the ball around, plays like a team, and nearly beat #1 seed Indiana without Al Horford in the lineup.  Its the best series the Hawks have played since 2008 when they took Boston to 7 games.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

@seminoleking 


If you can't get Lebron or Carmelo, I would trade Korver and Lou for Asik and sign Rudy Gay..


TEAGUE, GAY, MILLSAP, HORFORD, ASIK


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@tyger


"However, the Hawks are also not completely sold on Jeff Teague"


I don't see why not?  As he went so did they go in the playoffs.  If he had a better game 6 Indiana was finished.  He was one of if not the main reasons that Indiana played on their heels the whole series! Teague is a KEEPER!

Wilbo
Wilbo

@Ersatz Some Atlanta team may win a championship in your lifetime!










That is, if you are a VERY young person!

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

@MikeS777 That "collection of athletes" took the eventual champion Celtics to 7 games in 2008, beat the Magic in 2011, and took the Bulls to 6 games in 2011. Yeah, they got wiped out by contenders, but you're fooling yourself if you think this team wouldn't have done the same against Miami. The Hawks-Pacers series this year went 6 games more because of the Pacers' internal dysfunction than anything.

tyger
tyger

@MikeS777 What difference does it make how you get sent home? 


Either way, your'e gone fishing. Hawks were blown out in Game 7; couldn't close out IND at home up by 20.


Prior group gave BOS all they could handle 2x, had Chicago in Chi Game 5 in Rd. 2...


This YMCA crap is BORING - the fans have spoken - 3rd lowest attendance in NBA...


This ain't the Israeli Super League or Australia - that crap works for 3.5 qtrs.


Last 5 minutes is for studs - and we dont have any - we cant close!

MikeS777
MikeS777

@NajehDavenpoop @MikeS777 They took Boston to 7 games and got blown out in every road game, losing by 34 in Game 7.  Dont forget they got completely humiliated the next two years in sweeps by Cleveland and Orlando.  They stole a couple of games from Chicago, but got blown out in the 4 they lost.  Orlando wasn't that good the year they beat them.

That Hawks team could steal a game from a competitor then get blown out in the rest.  That's not really competing.  They were also capped out, so they could never improve on the group that was there.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@tyger @MikeS777 That Boston series was in 2008 and represented the best series that previous group ever played.  Even then they got blown out in every game they played in Boston, losing by 34 pts in game 7.

The very next year they got completely humiliated by Cleveland and Lebron in a sweep, then followed that up in 2010 with the same treatment from Orlando that cost Woodson his job.

They couldn't stop Rose and lost the series in 6.  All 4 losses were double digit losses, two by 20 pts or more. 

They played Indiana last year and lost in 6.  They stole two games at home, but again lost 3 of the 4 games to Indiana by double figures, at least one by 20 pts or more.

No the previous group could steal a game or two, but would get blown out for the rest.  Not since that 2008 Boston series have they every truly been competitive with a real contender.

So here they come this year without any of those guys and play Indiana to 7 games, losing only two of those by double digits.  They lost games 4 and 6 in the final few minutes.  It was the first truly competitive playoff series these Hawks have played in so long I can't remember.

Ms_Dee
Ms_Dee

@MikeS777 @NajehDavenpoop To jump in on the conversation..the Hawks of today were VERY competitive against the Heat in all 4 match ups this past season causing LeBron to give praise to Coach Bud and the new look Hawks..I dont recall LeBron EVER giving such praise the Hawks of old. In fact I dont recall Coach Vogel nor any other coach we have played in the past playoffs give such praise to our coach and what he has accomplished in just 1 season..So PLEASE dont compare the new look Hawks to any of the past Hawks team cause they simply dont compare!!

tyger
tyger

@MikeS777 @tyger You fail to mention Chicago in Rd. 2 after putting away the Bucks under LD leadership. Hawks had Bulls in Chicago Game 5 up by 7 and pissed it away. They havent been isht since...