The Boston Celtics won’t have to cross this bridge until 2023, but Al Horford’s free agency will launch in less than a year. Even at 36, Horford played a major role in the Celtics making their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. If he’s playing at, or close to, the same level for the upcoming season. hey, there’s no telling what his price might be when he approaches free agency.
Because of all that has happened from when Horford left the Celtics to join the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 to when he was acquired by Boston in 2021, it’s hard for a league operator to believe Horford will leave again.
“Al went and took his money with the Sixers, and he was devastated. (Then) he went to Oklahoma City. He’s been through what else is out there. It would be a shock if they let him go or if he does it again,” the tournament executive explained to Heavy.
While the numbers on a possible deal can be complicated knowing the Celtics team situation, the executive doesn’t see Horford leaving because of how successful Horford has been during his time with the Celtics.
“The trick would be, what is the right number for him? I don’t see him as a minimal guy next summer, and you don’t want to bring that up and insult him. But they are a tax team. They need to have Horford give them a break in that next deal. But there was no way he could get out of there. He cannot be as successful in other places as he was there.”
Furthermore, Heavy’s Steve Bulpett revealed in a Celtics mail bag how Horford really feels about Boston after his departure in 2019.
Horford doesn’t want to leave Boston
Bulpett revealed in a bag of letters from July 22, 2022, that Horford did not want to leave the Celtics in 2019 and could have stayed if he had known Kemba Walker would be an immediate replacement for Kyrie Irving.
“Horford really didn’t want to leave Boston for the first time, but Kyrie Irving is in the process of leaving (in an interview before the start of the 2019-20 season, Al told me he would look at things differently) if he’d known Kemba Walker was coming) and there was uncertainty with the Celtics. “
Horford also thinks Philadelphia offers a better chance for a title among other advantages, according to Bulpett.
“When Philadelphia entered the game with big money, the opportunity to play alongside Joel Embiid and the chance to compete for the title seemed huge, he continued. Horford doesn’t like being beaten on the inside, and the idea that Embiid will draw against bigger opponents is appealing. “
Regarding Horford’s upcoming free agency, Bulpett also added that “Celtics would love to have him.” At the same time, it seems likely that the Celtics will limit Horford’s minutes in the upcoming season.
Horford sits off his back the most
While asked about the Celtics’ central situation, The Athletic’s Jared Weiss said that the Celtics plan to give Horford more rest in the upcoming season, including giving him rest for the periods they have available. consecutive matches.
“They will certainly need central depth, as Al Horford is expected to sit out most of the defenders and be limited in minutes further next season, according to team sources.”
While letting 36-year-old Horford play less makes sense, how the Celtics will adjust when he plays fewer minutes is what it is.
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https://heavy.com/sports/boston-celtics/al-horfords-future-question-shock/ Al Horford’s future with Celtics in question: ‘Will be a shock’