Boston Celtics big man Al Horford has proven to be a very valuable player on a contending team, so it's no surprise he's drawing a lot of interest with NBA free agency beginning Sunday night.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne reported on Horford's situation Friday, including a couple of surprise teams interested in signing the five-time All-Star.
Much like three years ago, when a number of teams rushed to offer him a max contract when he decided to leave the Atlanta Hawks, Horford is in such massive demand across the league that he's very likely to get the four-year, $100 million-plus deal he's seeking by opting out of his deal in Boston.
In addition to teams like the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans, who instantly emerged as possible landing spots, league sources say there are a few surprise bidders who are trying to land the veteran big man. These include the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers.
Horford reportedly declined the 2019-20 player option worth $30.1 million in his contract with the Celtics, making him an unrestricted free agent. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported earlier this month, citing league sources, that the Dallas Mavericks were the favorite to land Horford.
The 33-year-old would be a fantastic fit on the 76ers or Kings.
Sacramento has a very talented young team that surprisingly challenged for a Western Conference playoff spot last season, and Horford would be the perfect veteran to help this inexperienced roster on and off the court. The 76ers could lose free-agent forwards Jimmy Butler and/or Tobias Harris, so acquiring Horford certainly would upgrade their defense and depth in the frontcourt. Horford also is a good 3-point shooter, and Philly's lack of outside shooting has been a problem in each of its last two playoff runs.
Horford averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent on 3-point attempts for Boston last season.
If Horford doesn't re-sign in Boston, the Celtics could have around $34 million in salary cap space. The C's reportedly have serious interest in Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker, one of the top unrestricted free agent point guards available.
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