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NBA Rumors: Atlanta Hawks Al Horford Trade Talks Intensify; Jeff Teague Calls For Higher Pay

( [email protected] ) Apr 25, 2016 01:56 PM EDT
The Atlanta Hawks are considered the dark horses in the highly competitive in the Eastern Conference. With the NBA playoffs heating up, the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets find themselves fiercely battling it out against the Al Horford squad. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks appear to be transforming into a fearsome competitor against the Toronto Raptors of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan as well as LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. However, rumors have it that both Teague and Horford might be exiting the NBA team by the offseason.
Al Horford is rumored to sign with the Houston Rockets in free agency this NBA offseason. Keith Allison/Flickr CC

The Atlanta Hawks are considered the dark horses in the highly competitive in the Eastern Conference. With the NBA playoffs heating up, the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets find themselves fiercely battling it out against the Al Horford squad. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks appear to be transforming into a fearsome competitor against the Toronto Raptors of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan as well as LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. However, rumors have it that both Teague and Horford might be exiting the NBA team by the offseason.

Despite keeping mum on the trade rumors surrounding his status with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford has been reportedly pursued by a number of NBA teams. These purportedly include the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings. However, sources claim that Horford is leaning towards the offer of the Miami Heat. In addition to the chance of playing with NBA greats like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Atlanta Hawks star could also serve as a mentor to the rising Luol Deng and Hassan Whiteside. Will he leave his current team to play with the former LeBron James championship team?

"I can't get inside his [Horford] mind to know if Miami is an attractive place for him, or are there other places that are attractive to him," shared Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Constitution via CSNNE. The insider added, "The Hawks are prepared to offer him the max, he's comfortable in this system. I would think it's 90-percent that he's staying, but that means there's 10-percent that he wouldn't."

Horford has been with the Atlanta Hawks since 2007. Pretty much like Carmelo Anthony in the New York Knicks and James Harden of the Houston Rockets, the 29-year-old four-time NBA All-Star eventually became the franchise face of the Atlanta Hawks. However, he appears to be experiencing the same dilemma as Anthony and Harden. Does this mean he will follow the footsteps of LaMarcus Aldridge who left the Portland Trail Blazers to sign with an NBA playoffs contender such as the San Antonio Spurs? Or will he stay with the team and attempt to push harder for them to become the top dogs in the Eastern Conference, displacing LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love?

Another star who might say goodbye to the Atlanta Hawks is Jeff Teague. Like his teammate Horford, he has been with the basketball squad since he was drafted in the NBA in 2009. The two eventually became the leaders of the Atlanta Hawks, leading the group to a high NBA playoffs 2016 spot. However, the two might be losing their partnership soon. NBA trade rumors have cited the possibility of Teague moving to another team by the offseason.

"It bothered me for a little bit because I was hurt," shared Teague of his reaction to the NBA trade rumors. He added, "My ankle was all jacked up at that time, and I wasn't playing really well, so it kind of felt like a "Maybe they don't want me no more" situation. It's part of the business, man. Now I'm feeling healthy, I'm playing a lot better."

The recent performances of Teague, however, showed how much the team relies on him and Horford. Hence, sources are claiming that the 27-year-old is targeting a higher pay. With the trade rumors surrounding his name and the number of teams looking into the possibility of signing Teague, raking in more cash is a possibility for the point guard. Does this mean that Teague is truly seeking better offers? Will the Atlanta Hawks lose one of their best players?

"We try not to talk about [rumors]. [Me and Horford] just go about business as usual. Me and him are really close. We've been around each other for a while," said Teague. He further shared, "Yeah, you have a chance to do something special now. When you do something special, people like to stick around. They like to keep groups together, so we realize that. We're going to try to do the best we can this year, and hopefully everything works out."

Tags : NBA rumors, NBA trade rumors, Atlanta Hawks, Al Horford, Miami Heat, jeff teague