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NBA Free Agency: Wizards still interested in Al Horford, according to report

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s been a few dark days for the Wizards, as it becomes more clear that Kevin Durant won’t consider coming home and the team has reportedly moved on to Ryan Anderson as a more realistic top target. However, it looks like the Wizards haven’t entirely given up on their pursuit of Al Horford, according to Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Hawks, of course, face a stiff challenge in trying to retain Horford, who sources say is expected to draw free-agent interest from a number of teams, including the Lakers, Rockets, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.

It’s nice to see the Wizards haven’t given up on Horford, who would be a great fit in Washington. However, the other teams listed present lots of intriguing benefits that the would be hard for the Wizards to match.

The Hawks can offer the most financially, since they’re the only team who can offer Horford a five-year deal. Plus, as Stein reports, they’re exploring ways to recruit Kevin Durant or Dwight Howard to play alongside Horford in Atlanta. Among the teams who can only offer four-year deals, the Rockets and Magic have slight advantages in the money department because they don’t have state taxes.

Even if money doesn’t factor into Horford’s decision this summer, Washington would still have to find a way to convince him playing alongside Wall gives him a better shot at title contention than he’d have sticking in Atlanta, or joining teams like the Rockets, Celtics, or Pistons who all reached the playoffs last season.

It may not be easy, but at least it sounds like they haven’t been given a reason to give up on their pursuit, which is still probably one of the more encouraging things we’ve heard this week.