Atlanta Hawks’ big man Al Horford is out indefinitely with a torn pectoral. In 2012, Horford suffered the same injury and was out four months. This injury is devastating to the Hawks as well as my fantasy basketball team, but it could greatly benefit the Boston Celtics‘ draft position.
In the trade with the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics acquired their 2014 first-round pick. The only catch is the Hawks also own the rights to swap for that particular pick. Therefore, the Hawks would get the lesser of the two. Currently, the Hawks would own the Nets’ No. 6 pick in the 2014 Draft while the Celtics would only get the Hawks’ No. 21 pick in the draft. With Horford out, the Hawks could potentially slip in the standings, and the Celtics could end up with a higher draft pick.
The Hawks are almost guaranteed to fall now. Horford led the team in points (18.6) and rebounds (8.4) per game, and it is hard to imagine the Hawks being able to make up for his loss. The next center on the depth chart is Pero Antic, a 31 year old rookie.
Not only does Horford’s injury benefit the Celtics in the draft but also in the standings. If both the Nets and Hawks continue to fall in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics will end up in excellent position in the draft. Since obtaining a high pick is likely, the Celtics can focus on getting better and winning games. An injury is never something to be happy about, but the Celtics have a great opportunity to take advantage of the Hawks’ devastating loss.