Dec 6, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) looks to pass around Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum (21) in the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 108-89. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Al Horford Fit with LeBron James on Cavaliers?

The Cleveland Cavaliers could be on their way to signing LeBron James in the next few days. A huge development for a team and city that has been down on their luck. Signing James would give the Cavs 3 of the 4 best #1 picks in the past 11 years, Anthony Davis oh what could of been. Yet even with Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins, did you think we meant Anthony Bennett?, the Cavs still seem to have irons in the fire to add another star to the team. We have covered Kevin Love and Chris Bosh as realistic options, click their names below for those articles opening in new windows, based on their fits and availability.

Kevin Love      Chris Bosh

Today we look at another big man who may fit perfectly with that core group but who may not be available. Al Horford is a great big man coming off a lost season with the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks on the other hand were able to make the playoffs without their star big man. Could that give them reason to shop him to the highest bidder or do they think they can make bigger noise adding him back into the fold. We will start looking from the Hawks perspective, then to the Cavs fit and finally possible trade that makes sense for both teams.

For the Hawks

Horford has 2 years left at $12 million dollars a year left on his deal. He has had some injury issues and the team was successful, somewhat in the weak East, without him last year. Do the Hawks think they can compete with Horford as their center piece in the next 2 years? Are they willing to give him a max type deal in 2 years? Or do they want to continue their youth movement and trade him for a ton of assets now before he gets hurt again.

Those are the only possible reasons for the Hawks to look to move Horford, and they are valid reasons. Are they enough reasons? Can the Cavs entice former employee Danny Ferry to make that move? The Hawks have a young point guard in Jeff Teague, a sharp shooter in Kyle Korver and a do everything guy in Paul Milsap. They lack any big size and the youth on the roster doesn’t scream “Key Piece of a Contender.” Horford is the only key piece on the team. The other players play their roles well. The Hawks will have to try to re-sign Milsap after this season which could create financial concerns as well. The Hawks currently still have about $11 million in cap space.

For the Cavs

Horford is a solid range shooter who can play both the 4 and the 5. He would benefit from more time as a power forward instead of banging down low. The versatility of playing next to Tristan Thompson or Anderson Varejao would help with that. In Blatt’s offense Horford would provide enough spacing, passing and solid screen setting to be a deadly weapon and perfect fit with Irving, Wiggins and James.

Horford doesn’t have the range that Love has but is far more physical. His rebounding numbers aren’t as good but his overall athleticism is higher. His injury concerns and contract status could cause for some pause in Cleveland but with the other players on the team Horford is a better gamble for the Cavs. The Cavs know that the Hawks may be trying to win now around Horford and would have to blow them away with their offer. Yet we know Danny Ferry likes to make trades, not as much as Chris Grant, and the Cavs have resources that could interest him.

A Trade

Cavs Recieve: Al Horford

Hawks Recieve: Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev, Cavs #1 pick in ’15 and ’17, Grizzlies protected #1 pick and Heat protected #1 pick

The Hawks get a star in the making in Waiters and two unknown youngsters who could contribute in the next few years along with 4 first rounders. For the Cavs these resources are seen as extras. Technically they would be only giving away 2 of their own picks, which they assume will be late in the first. They keep Thompson and Tyler Zeller to have some youth on the front court still.

Highly unlikely but what do you think of the fit? Then what do you think of the trade?

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Tags: Al Horford Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Joe

    Why not throw in Quicken Loans Arena and the Terminal Tower?
    When you listed names under what the Hawks would receive, I hope you meant it as a multiple choice question with only one answer.
    Horford is an excellent player with disturbing injury tendencies.
    That crowd you are ready to give up, however, is way too heavy a price.

    • Jared Mueller

      In order to get Horford that is likely the type of price we would have to pay. Less for Love based on his contract status but even him would be pretty high like Waiters, Bennett (I want to keep both of them) and 2 to 3 picks. Salaries will have to be close too. I think a 4 some of Irving, Wiggins, James and Horford would win 2 of the next 4 rings so if that is true is any package too much?

      • Chris McLafferty

        If you gave up that much the Cavs might not win any titles. Look at how stacked the Spurs roster was. Even the Thunder or Grizz. Where’s your bench scoring coming from? You’d have Irving, Wiggins, James, Thompson and Horford. Then Delly and Varejao on the bench? I like both of those guys but don’t see scoring coming from that bench. Plus I think I’d prefer Love

  • Chris McLafferty

    3 of the best 4? Kyrie, LeBron and Wiggins? No Dwight Howard? No Derrick Rose? No Blake Griffin? No John Wall?

    • Bobby Squats

      Meaning the last 4 #1 picks…the present is fresh on his mind haaa

    • Jared Mueller

      I am thinking when careers are over. I think at that point James, Irving and Wiggins will be considered 3 of the top 4 even over those you mentioned. I thought that before Cavs won the Lottery and drafted Wiggins. Its one that would have to be proved later.

  • Chris McLafferty

    Also I think another big guy you should look into is Pau Gasol. He was flirting with the idea of taking HUGE paycut to play in OK City. If the Cavs added James and Kevin Love, I can’t imagine him seeing an easier path to the Finals. Kyrie, Wiggins, James, Love and Gasol with a bench of Delly, Felix or Harris at #2, Sergey, Thompson and Varejao and a midlevel exception pick up. I would assume we could make a deal of Waiters, Bennett and Zeller (maybe an extra pick) for Love.