This 2-for-1 simulated trade sends Al Horford back to the Hawks
Through waiver Jabari Parker last night, deadline for a decision on his agreement, the Boston Celtics opened a place in the roster to maintain the flexibility of the roster.
No one has yet been signed with this spot on the open list. This flexibility could be maintained in the future if the Cs pursued another means of acquiring new talent.
Like a business.
We’re just over a month away from the NBA trade deadline of February 10. Before that happens, the Cs will have five weeks to get back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Their last-second loss to the New York Knicks at MSG last Thursday propelled them to the No. 11 seed.
If they don’t fall too far from the No. 10 seed’s striking distance or participate in a 17-game winning streak before that date, that trade could use the extra C-List spot if it is not filled:
The hawks get
Boston Celtics first-round pick protected by 2023 lottery
Why the Boston Celtics are doing it
Al Horford was a staple of the Atlanta Hawks who anchored the defense during the franchise’s most successful years of all eras since the turn of the century. The Hawks returned to the Eastern Conference final last June for the first time since Horford and co. was beaten by LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015 and could use stable veteran strength in the midst of a year of struggles.
Facilitating a meeting more than that works for the Cs if they can get a player of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s worth in return. Bogdanovic is the team’s starter when available, but a sprained ankle and a stint in NBA health and safety protocols derailed his chances of improving his numbers from 2021-22 until now, currently his worst career in scoring, facilitation and efficiency.
His constant presence could be what the doctor ordered in the ATL, but if in the next few weeks that doesn’t prove to be the cure, Boston should try to nab the Serbian sniper. Replacing Horford with Bogdanovic in the starting five would add legitimate ground spacing (Horford has only shot 28% over the arc this season) throughout the wing.
Delon Wright would be much more than a touchdown, providing the team with a great defensive playmaker whose facilitation numbers match those of Dennis Schroder when given similar minutes. His presence would allow Stevens to make a separate deal with a candidate for the post of German general.
Why the Atlanta Hawks are doing it
The move is about the Atlanta Hawks’ future financial flexibility. Al Horford’s unsecured deal would see the team forgo him this offseason and open up a significant amount of ceiling space.
If they could find a taker for Danilo Gallinari’s final year and an actor with more commercial value (Clint Capela, Kevin Huerter), they could be free agency actors.
It would be the best way to appease Trae Young after what could end up being a serious setback in 2021-22 from 2020-21.
Who knows? Maybe Horford goes back and ends up being a perfect second-unit running mate for Onyeka Okongwu and the Hawks end up with a future lottery-protected pick.