It appears Al Horford's time with the Celtics is coming to an end, and that could make things even worse for the injury-depleted Warriors.
The big man opted out of the final year of his contract earlier this week, reportedly with the intention of signing a multi-year deal in Boston.
But things went south Tuesday:
Major change in the Al Horford situation:— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) June 18, 2019
Per source close to Horford, his side is no longer discussing a new 3-year deal to stay with the Celtics. He is expected to sign a 4-year free agent contract elsewhere...
Story to come.
Boston and Al Horford had discussed contract scenarios, but the gulf is too great for sides to believe they can close on a new deal now, league sources tell ESPN. Horford is prepared to enter the free agency to find a three or four year deal elsewhere.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2019
And the Warriors can't be happy with where the five-time All-Star is rumored to end up.
On Wednesday, league sources told Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer that the Mavericks are considered the favorites to sign Horford in free agency.
Golden State wouldn't be happy with that result because you would then have to add Dallas to the long list of teams who have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs in the Western Conference.
The Mavs didn't make the postseason in 2019, but a trio of Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Horford would certainly have playoff expectations.
The Lakers added superstar Anthony Davis, might be able to add a third All-Star in free agency and certainly are expecting to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
The Kings have a terrific young core -- plus lots of cap space -- and will be picked by some pundits to end their 13-year postseason drought.
While it's obviously way too early to tell which 2019 playoff teams might fall out of contention, some people are already speculating that the Warriors could legitimately miss the playoffs next season.
The main rationale is that even if Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson re-sign, they might be sidelined the entire campaign.
We have to see what happens in the coming weeks before speculating any further. But it seems foolish to think a team with Steph Curry and Draymond Green will end up in the lottery.
And you should not expect owner Joe Lacob and the rest of the front office to take their foot off the gas pedal as the Dubs move into the Chase Center.
Having said that, Horford in Dallas would make things that much more challenging.