The 2016 edition of NBA free agency is about two classes: Kevin Durant and everybody else.
Al Horford is considered the best of the best among that second group. The free agent big man is said to be strongly considering joining the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards and Boston Celtics have "emerged as the frontrunners" to sign Horford, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday morning. Horford, a four-time All-Star with the Atlanta Hawks, is expected to make a final decision Saturday night.
Washington met with Horford Friday night in Atlanta, CSNmidatlantic.com reported.
After pondering a handful of teams, Horford, 30, "pared down" the list Saturday morning, league sources told Wojnarowski.
One of the most versatile frontcourt options in the league, Horford would likely receive a max contract of four years, $113 million from either the Wizards or Celtics. The Hawks can offer a fifth year, but that window may have closed with the signing of center Dwight Howard Friday.
Horford, a four-time All-Star, could only return to the Hawks if he decided to take the team’s most recent offer and the franchise made a series of moves to clear the necessary salary-cap space – an option that has become increasingly remote, league sources said.
Washington re-signed restrcted free agent Bradley Beal to a massive five-year contract, but did not add any outside players on the first day of free agency. Horford woudn't just be a player, but a game-changer for a Wizards team that did not qualify for the playoffs last season.
The Wizards already have a viable starting tandem with center Marcin Gortat and power forward Markieff Morris. Horford's perimeter shooting and interior game means he could play with either big man and be a great fit with All-Star point guard John Wall. Barring a trade, Horford would likely start at power forward next to Gortat.
Horford averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 blocks last season for the Atlanta Hawks, where he has played since 2007 when he was drafted No. 3 overall.