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With Celtics in NBA Finals, Al Horford gets extra $5M of salary guaranteed

Al Horford at 2022 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - MAY 29: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics and Malik Fitz #8 celebrate after Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on May 29, 2022 at the FTX Arena 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Seeking more money and winning, Al Horford left the Celtics in 2019. He signed a four-year contract with the 76ers that’d be worth $97 million-$109 million. The range hinged on whether he made the NBA Finals, won a championship.

Back with Boston, Horford is headed to the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.

As a result, an extra $5 million of his salary for next season has become guaranteed.

Horford never fit with Philadelphia as hoped. He got traded to the Thunder, who gave him practically no chance of playoff success. The Celtics reacquired Horford last summer in part because of his cheaper contract.

But Boston’s savings next season will be limited due to this playoff run – one boosted by Horford himself.

If not making the Finals, the Celtics could’ve chosen between keeping Horford at $26.5 million or paying him $14.5 million to go away (either as a single cap hit next season or stretched into $4,833,333 cap hits each of the next three seasons). I probably would’ve just kept him. But there was a discussion to be had.

Now, the choice is keeping Horford at $26.5 million or paying him $19.5 million to go away (again, either as a single cap hit next season or stretched into $6.5 million cap hits each of the next three seasons). That seems like an easier call to keep Horford. He can take the decision completely out of Boston’s hands, though.

If the Celtics win the title, the final $7 million of his salary for next season would become guaranteed.