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Report: Pistons interested in Al Horford in free agency next summer

Pistons Hawks Basketball

Atlanta Hawks Al Horford (15) battles Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond for the opening tip off during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT


The Pistons want to upgrade their staring power forward.

They plan to guarantee the salary of incumbent Ersan Ilyasova, but he could serve as a fallback option or, better yet, a quality backup.

Detroit is reportedly interested in Ryan Anderson and Donatas Motiejunas.

Another name for the list of targets: Al Horford.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

Two persons with firsthand knowledge of the organization told the Free Press there could be interest in Hawks big man Al Horford (Grand Ledge) when free agency begins in the off-season.

Horford has expanded his range, but he’s not the ideal 3-point shooter to pair with Andre Drummond. But Horford is so good, his positives outweigh the fit concerns (unlike another power forward linked to Detroit, Thaddeus Young).

The Hawks big would instantly upgrade Detroit’s defense, and his passing would help with spacing. And it’s not as if he’s a bad shooter. He’s just not aces from beyond the arc. He’s still capable for a power forward.

Even at 30, Horford will likely draw multiple max-contract offers in free agency this summer – including from Atlanta. This is why the Hawks should at least explore the trade market for him. I doubt the Pistons bite, because they’d have the cap room to sign him outright and a decent pitch – an emerging team and a return to the state where he grew up.

Horford seems happy with the Hawks, and I think he’ll re-sign. But it sure makes sense for Detroit to take its shot.