Celtics

NBA rumors: 76ers, Kings among 'surprise bidders' for Al Horford in free agency

NBA rumors: 76ers, Kings among 'surprise bidders' for Al Horford in free agency

Boston Celtics big man Al Horford has proven to be a very valuable player on a contending team, so it's no surprise he's drawing a lot of interest with NBA free agency beginning Sunday night.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne reported on Horford's situation Friday, including a couple of surprise teams interested in signing the five-time All-Star.

Much like three years ago, when a number of teams rushed to offer him a max contract when he decided to leave the Atlanta Hawks, Horford is in such massive demand across the league that he's very likely to get the four-year, $100 million-plus deal he's seeking by opting out of his deal in Boston.

In addition to teams like the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans, who instantly emerged as possible landing spots, league sources say there are a few surprise bidders who are trying to land the veteran big man. These include the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers.

Horford reportedly declined the 2019-20 player option worth $30.1 million in his contract with the Celtics, making him an unrestricted free agent. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported earlier this month, citing league sources, that the Dallas Mavericks were the favorite to land Horford.

The 33-year-old would be a fantastic fit on the 76ers or Kings.

Sacramento has a very talented young team that surprisingly challenged for a Western Conference playoff spot last season, and Horford would be the perfect veteran to help this inexperienced roster on and off the court. The 76ers could lose free-agent forwards Jimmy Butler and/or Tobias Harris, so acquiring Horford certainly would upgrade their defense and depth in the frontcourt. Horford also is a good 3-point shooter, and Philly's lack of outside shooting has been a problem in each of its last two playoff runs.

Horford averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent on 3-point attempts for Boston last season.

If Horford doesn't re-sign in Boston, the Celtics could have around $34 million in salary cap space. The C's reportedly have serious interest in Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker, one of the top unrestricted free agent point guards available.

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Classic Celtics: Larry Bird lifts C's over Rockets in 1986 NBA Finals clincher

Classic Celtics: Larry Bird lifts C's over Rockets in 1986 NBA Finals clincher

Some consider the 1986 Boston Celtics one of the greatest NBA teams of all time.

Here's your chance to watch them finish off that historic season.

NBC Sports Boston's "Classic Celtics" series -- which brought you Kemba Walker's 32-point outburst against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday -- rolls on Friday with Game 6 of the 1986 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Houston Rockets.

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The Rockets took Game 5 in Houston to send the series back to Boston, but they weren't prepared for Larry Bird, whose magnificent performance in Game 6 (29 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) helped the C's earn a 114-97 win and clinch their 16th NBA championship.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Rockets airs Friday at 7 p.m. ET, and if watching Bird at the height of his powers wasn't entertaining enough, former Celtics center Bill Walton will join Brian Scalabrine throughout the night to provide color commentary.

Here's when and how to watch:

When: Friday, April 1, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and in the MyTeams app

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Classic Celtics: Kemba Walker helps C's mount huge comeback vs. Bucks

Classic Celtics: Kemba Walker helps C's mount huge comeback vs. Bucks

Here's how much time flies: It was only about five months ago that Boston Celtics fans were really introduced to Kemba Walker.

NBC Sports Boston's "Classic Celtics" series (which featured Boston's 1986 playoff thriller against Michael Jordan's Bulls on Sunday) rolls on Wednesday with Walker's fourth game as a Celtic -- and it was an awesome one.

That Oct. 30, 2019, contest against the Bucks saw Walker drop 32 points in his second game at TD Garden, helping the Celtics storm back from a 19-point deficit to win 116-105 and hand Milwaukee one of its 12 losses on the season.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Bucks begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, and Walker will join Brian Scalabrine at points throughout the game to reminisce about his epic performance.

Other reasons to watch:

- Walker scoring 13 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter as Boston rallied late to stun the Bucks.

- Jayson Tatum hitting a clutch 3-pointer late in the game -- and earning a high five from C's legend Paul Pierce on the sideline.

- Giannis Antetokounmpo racking up 22 points and 14 rebounds, but Boston admirably holding the Bucks star in check during the second half.

The action all starts at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston. You can also watch the game in the MyTeams app and online at NBCSportsBoston.com.

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