Re-signing Kevin Durant probably is the main goal for the Oklahoma City Thunder right now, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says the franchise has another high-profile free agent target: Four-time all-star Al Horford, who has spent his entire nine-year NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks. The Thunder would need to clear a whole lot of salary-cap room to land both Durant and Horford, but Windhorst says team officials have been sending out feelers to teams that could possibly take high-priced reserves Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler off their hands.
Oklahoma City could also free up some room by not picking up shooting guard Anthony Morrow’s team option for 2016-17.
Horford played for Thunder Coach Billy Donovan at the University of Florida, winning NCAA tournament titles in 2005 and 2006, and Windhorst says they “remain close.” But the Thunder will be far from alone in pursuing the 6-foot-10 big man. ESPN’s Marc Stein said last week that the Magic, Pistons and Lakers all would make a run at him along with the incumbent Hawks, who have the cap room to re-sign Horford and guard Kent Bazemore while also nabbing another free agent like Dwight Howard, Windhorst notes. The Pistons, ESPN’s Zach Lowe says, “are working to schedule a meeting with Horford over the first 48 hours of free agency.”
As are the Rockets:
NBA sources confirm the #Rockets will meet with Al Horford tomorrow.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 30, 2016
The Hawks, however, own Horford’s Bird rights and thus can offer him the longest and largest max contract.
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