The Celtics complained to the league about teams tampering with Al Horford. The natural reaction to that is to assume hypocrisy given that if you're a team that's signed a big-name free agent, you've probably tampered, yet I think the Celtics actually have something of a leg to stand on.
The Celtics immediately agreeing with Kemba Walker and everyone knowing beforehand suggests some funny business, but there's plausible deniability there. Kemba was going to get a max contract and most teams would have gladly given it to him. All there needed to be was reported interest from the Celtics for them to be able to move quickly on a deal once it was allowed.
Horford, on the other hand? His situation was more complicated. He wasn't going to get a max contract, so there was the question of dollars. Then there was the question of term, specifically whether he was he going to get three or four years. For him to opt out knowing exactly what was waiting for him is a lot different than a max guy going to an obvious suitor. Both are cases of tampering because all signings in the NBA can be cases of tampering; one was far more overt.
Five for Friday: Thoughts on Horford, Kemba, Bruins, more originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston