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Report: Celtics plan to fully guarantee Al Horford’s contract, regardless of NBA Finals result

Boston Celtics big Al Horford

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 29: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics kisses the Eastern Conference Bob Cousy champions trophy after defeating the Miami Heat in Game Seven to win the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 29, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Al Horford got an extra $5 million of his $26.5 million salary for next season guaranteed because the Celtics made the NBA Finals. He’d get the final $7 million guaranteed if Boston wins the title.

But his money apparently isn’t on the line against the Warriors.

Brian Robb of MassLive:

League sources tell MassLive that the Celtics are expected to bring Horford back and guarantee the full $26.5 million no matter what happens in the NBA Finals

This definitely makes sense. If losing the Finals, Boston’s choice would be keeping Horford at $26.5 million or paying him $19.5 million to go away (either as a single cap hit next season or stretched into $6.5 million cap hits each of the next three seasons). That’s not enough savings to justify losing a quality contributor.

Horford will turn 36 Friday. At that age, the risk of his performance suddenly slipping is relatively high.

But the Celtics have come far enough with Horford to stick with him next season.