Al Horford Shows Love For Atlanta, Wants To Return To Hawks Next Season

by NESN Staff

May 9, 2016

Al Horford will have plenty of suitors this offseason, the Boston Celtics included. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s played his last game in an Atlanta Hawks uniform.

Horford, set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, gave a vote of confidence for his current club after the Cleveland Cavaliers ended its season with a four-game sweep in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

A four-time All-Star, Horford is one of this offseason’s prime free agents and could command a maximum contract. But the 29-year-old has spent all of his nine NBA seasons with Atlanta and apparently has plenty of affection for the city.

“I?ve set up here with my family,” he said Sunday, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We all live here. We live here in the summer. We live here year-round. I?m very grateful for all the people here. They have taken me in from the very first day, even though I was a (University of Florida) Gator. They loved me. I really love the city.”

Horford’s quotes came in the emotional aftermath of an early playoff exit, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. He’s not exactly going to admit to ditching the Hawks while seated in his own locker room.

Yet, Horford’s comments do serve as a reminder that Atlanta is a legitimate contender to re-sign the veteran center. Boston reportedly has a “real chance” to land Horford, too, but it appears the C’s will need to make quite the presentation to lure the big man from Atlanta.

“I?m not thinking about that,” Horford said when asked about his future. “We just had a tough loss. My main priority (Monday) is to meet with the team and the coaches one last time (for the season) and go from there and figure out how we can be a better group.”

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Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) reacts with guard Dennis Schroder (17) after making a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Cavaliers defeated the Hawks 100-99
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