Al Horford has been playing out of position for years with the Atlanta Hawks, but with Josh Smith‘s impending departure via free agency, the Hawks should seriously consider moving Horford to power forward full time. Such a move would not only improve Horford’s production, but could also extend his career for the long term.
Despite being undersized for the center position at 6’10″ and 245 pounds Horford has thrived in the role, averaging 17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds this season when he starts as a center. But Horford’s production is slightly better when he starts as a power forward; up to 18.1 points and a field goal percentage of .562.
Not only will Horford benefit offensively from a position change, but he’ll face better match ups on the defensive end of the court as well. Horford would be guarding players that are more his size that typically go between the mid range and post areas instead of having to cover centers that stay on the block, resulting in less wear and tear on Horford’s body. Moving Horford to power forward would also open a spot for the Hawks to pursue a true shot blocker, an area that Horford doesn’t excel in.
No matter what position he plays, the Hawks know that Horford will be productive and play hard every night. The Hawks have Horford signed though the 2015-2016 season at an affordable rate of $12 million per season, so they need to consider making moves that will help him stay healthy and productive throughout the length of the contract.