The Atlanta Hawks learned on Thursday that they will be without center/forward Al Horford for the next three to four months (possibly longer) due to a torn pectoral muscle suffered during the Wednesday night game versus the Indiana Pacers.
The Hawks now must move on and look to make a push for the postseason without their best player, who also happens to be the “glue” guy for the team. For the time being, the Hawks will turn to rookie Ivan Johnson, and veterans Zaza Pachulia and Jason Collins to hold down the fort.
Acquiring a replacement via trade could be one solution as the free agent market for big men does not really suit the Hawks at this time.
Listed in the following slides are the names of two players who are in the final year of their respective contracts, and one free agent that has size but is still a developing big man.
Let's get started!
Entering the last year of his contract, Kaman would fill a need for the Atlanta Hawks with his size and post game. Playing alongside Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia, Kaman can provide an immediate need for scoring in the frontcourt.
However, Kaman said that he would like to re-sign with the Hornets in the offseason after coming in as part of the Chris Paul trade before the start of the season. If the Hawks want to acquire him, the Hornets may ask for a heavy package because it is very difficult to find quality big men in the NBA.
Jamison could be an option the Hawks turn to. Although he is not big enough to play at the center spot, he has an expiring contract that works financially. And if Horford returns towards the end of the regular season, Jamison would be another great veteran addition coming off the bench.
Jamison, Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic and Willie Green would be a nice bench for the Hawks heading into the latter part of the 2011-12 NBA season.
Jamison is a source of leadership both on the court and in the locker room. This is something that could bode well for the Hawks who have added a lot of veterans to their team in hopes of making a deep run this year.
Kyrylo Fesenko may not be a household name, but he is one of the best free agent options available in the center category.
Fesenko was almost signed by the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks, and could be a legitimate option as he has true size to play the center position. But he is still developing and needs more playing time to find his offensive game.
Due to the lack of availability of quality big men throughout the league, a player like Fesenko may be worth taking a chance on in order to see what he can and cannot do.