Celtics

Report: How C's are expected to handle Horford's contract in 2022-23

Celtics
Al Horford

Al Horford has several reasons to be a very happy man right now.

For starters, the Celtics veteran punched a ticket to the first NBA Finals appearance of his 15-year NBA career when Boston defeated the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Horford apparently is getting some financial stability, as well: The Celtics are expected to bring Horford back for the 2022-23 season and fully guarantee the $26.5 million on the final year of his contract, MassLive.com's Brian Robb reported Monday.

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Horford signed a four-year deal worth up to $109 million with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2019. That deal included language that would guarantee $14.5 million of his 2022-23 salary if he reached the NBA Finals and guarantee the full $26.5 million on his deal if he won the NBA championship.

According to Robb, however, the Celtics plan to give Horford his full salary next year regardless of how their NBA Finals matchup with the Golden State Warriors plays out.

Horford has certainly earned his paycheck: After appearing in just 28 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, the 35-year-old has been a steady presence on and off the court all season.

He's stepped up in the postseason to become one of Boston's most important players, averaging 11.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range.

 

It's fair to wonder whether Horford can deliver that same level of production next season at age 36 after a grueling 2021-22 campaign. But considering Horford's importance to this team and how well Boston has played with him this season, bringing him back seems like a no-brainer.