Boston Celtics center Al Horford reportedly has declined his player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he's expected to draw interest from several NBA teams.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported an update Wednesday on Horford's potential suitors, and three teams from the Western Conference are expected to be in the mix for the 32-year-old veteran.
The Mavericks are considered favorites to land Celtics free-agent big man Al Horford, according to league sources, and the two Los Angeles teams are said to also have interest, though they both have their sights set on bigger fish like Kawhi Leonard.
UPDATE (Wednesday, June 19 at 3:25 p.m.): The Athletic's Shams Charania has listed two other potential suitors for Horford: the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets.
Shams is being interviewed on NBA XM Radio and just dropped a shortlist of the favorites for Horford and the 4 teams he listed were lakers and mavs, then a pause to list Philadelphia and Houston.— Mavs Draft (@MavsDraft) June 19, 2019
--End of Update--
The Mavericks are an interesting spot for Horford. Dallas' roster is highlighted by likely 2018-19 Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, as well as talented center Kristaps Porzingis, who did not play at all last season after tearing his ACL as a member of the New York Knicks in 2018. Horford's defense, rebounding, leadership and 3-point shooting would make him an excellent fit on the Mavericks. However, the addition of Horford would not make the Mavs a real contender for an NBA championship next season, so Dallas isn't the best spot if winning, not money, is the priority for him in free agency.
The Lakers recently agreed to acquire superstar center Anthony Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, but they still have around $25 million in salary cap space to pursue a top-tier free agent such as Horford. The Clippers have been mentioned throughout the season as the likely landing spot for Toronto Raptors superstar forward Kawhi Leonard in free agency. A Leonard/Horford duo instantly would make the Clippers one of the best defensive teams in the league next season.
Horford averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range for Boston last year. He spent the last three seasons with the Celtics and made one All-Star appearance (2017-18).
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