As first reported by Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Horford and the Hawks have agreed to a five year, $60 million contract extension that will keep the All-Star center in the ATL through 2015-16.
The agreement makes Horford just the third member of the Class of '07 to receive an extension. In July, the Oklahoma City Thunder inked Kevin Durant(notes), the No. 2 overall selection in the 2007 draft, to a five-year max-level extension worth a reported $85 million. Last month, the Chicago Bulls locked up Joakim Noah(notes), the No. 9 pick, for five years and $60 million.
Timing was most definitely of the essence for the Hawks, Horford and agent Arn Tellem — if a deal hadn't gotten done by the midnight Eastern time deadline for extending 2007 first-round picks, Horford would have become a restricted free agent after this season. But an agreement is reportedly in place, and as Cunningham reports, Horford's pretty stoked:
'It happened like I've been predicting — down to the wire,' Horford said today after practice. 'When we finally kind of agreed on everything, I was super excited.'
Well, yeah. You're going to get $60 million. No doy you're excited.
The Hawks should be thrilled, too. They were able to keep an important piece of their core — an emerging star and fan favorite who can score around the basket, defend elite bigs and has a winner's pedigree that dates back to his days at the University of Florida — and they didn't even have to sign him to the worst contract in league history to do it. Like I said: Smile Time, all the way.