Al Horford Won’t Discuss A New Contract With The Hawks Until Next Summer

The summer of 2016 could turn out to be a watershed moment for the NBA, and not just because Kevin Durant is set to become the most sought-after free agent since LeBron James six years earlier. Several other big name players will hit the market as well, including Mike Conley, DeMar DeRozan, and Dwight Howard (and technically LeBron, but don’t get your hopes up).

Now you can add Al Horford to that list. The Atlanta Hawks’ All-Star big man is entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him $12 million next season, and he recently told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he won’t engage in contract talks until after the coming season:

“My focus right now is to get better individually and help our team be the best team that we can be,” Horford said Tuesday. “I have the same mindset and that is to help our team win and put us in a good position and try to be better.

“As far as the contract stuff, I’m going to wait until the season is over. I’m not going to let that linger and be a distraction. The focus is to be on the Hawks, on our team and getting better. Once the season ends, we’ll be able to sit down and talk and figure out all of that.”

It’s quaint that Horford would have us believe that he doesn’t want contract negotiations to be a distraction this year, especially when it’s fairly obvious the real reason is the tsunami of cash headed his way thanks to the massive television contracts the league brokered last summer. Experts have projected that the salary cap will spike somewhere near the $90 million mark going into 2016-2017. And you thought the spending was out of control this offseason.

On the one hand, we thought false modesty was a lost art in this era of pea-cocking, braggadocio and unapologetic consumerism, so I suppose that’s something. But on the other hand, it’s okay, Al. Get your money. We ain’t mad at you.

(via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)