Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford is heading into the final year of a deal that will pay him $12.5 million, and says he’ll only start thinking about his next contract following the 2015-16 season.

Horford will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and is set to cash in big-time with the NBA salary cap jumping significantly next summer once again.

The 29-year-old All-Star put up averages of 15.2 points and 7.2 rebounds for the 60-win Hawks last season.

Per the AJC:

“My focus right now is to get better individually and help our team be the best team that we can be,” Horford said Tuesday. “I have the same mindset and that is to help our team win and put us in a good position and try to be better. […] As far as the contract stuff, I’m going to wait until the season is over. I’m not going to let that linger and be a distraction. The focus is to be on the Hawks, on our team and getting better. Once the season ends, we’ll be able to sit down and talk and figure out all of that.”

 

The NBA salary cap is expected to jump significantly ahead of the 2016-17 season, with the league’s new TV contract in effect. Horford will be one of the top free agents next summer, with the likes of Kevin Durant and likely LeBron James. In additon, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Horford could only receive a 7.5 percent yearly raise on his $12 million salary in in contract extension.

 

He is looking to improve his play in the post and at the elbow this summer. He has continued this work with Hawks assistant coach Darvin Ham, as both are in the Dominican Republic this week with the league’s Basketball Without Borders program. […] “I’m working on my body and working on my basketball,” Horford said of his summer. “I want to expand my game to different things. The most important thing is I’m healthy. I’m looking forward to the season.”