Al Horford reportedly opting out of his deal and leaving the Celtics is outstanding news for the Sixers.
But what if it meant that Horford would be on his way to Philadelphia?
With Horford set to hit the open market, one GM told NBC Sports national NBA insider Tom Haberstroh, a guest on 97.5 the Fanatic’s morning show, “not to count out” the Sixers as a landing spot.
While the stats don’t bear it out, Horford has been an integral part to what Boston has done over the years. He’s versatile and tough defensively. He’s an excellent passer for a big and has expanded his game out to the three-point line. He’s likely the only player in the entire league capable of guarding both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Speaking of Embiid, Horford is a rare player in that he could possibly play with and also backup the All-Star center.
But would he fit here and does it make sense with how it would affect the whole roster? Horford is 33 so he doesn’t necessarily fit from that perspective. He is reportedly looking for a four-year deal so whatever team signs him could be paying him around $20 million at age 37. While he theoretically could play with Embiid, that’s not a sure thing.
If you make this move, you’re also not re-signing Tobias Harris. Sixers fans really soured on Harris after a poor performance in Game 4 against the Raptors. He became a scapegoat of sorts when the team’s problems were much bigger. Harris is 26, a borderline All-Star and has improved every season. It seems like people forget that Harris had an excellent regular season and was playing in the postseason for just the second time in his career. He was also excellent in the Brooklyn series, playing off way more effective versions Embiid and Simmons.
So what it boils down to is this: Sign Horford or re-sign Harris. Harris is younger, ascending and already has a relationship with players inside the locker room. Horford is an attractive option if Harris chooses to sign elsewhere in hopes of having a bigger offensive role, but the Sixers’ priority should still be to #RunItBack with Harris and Jimmy Butler.
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