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Free Agency Rumor: Celtics will offer Al Horford max contract

Celtics flying out to meet with Al Horford and offer him a max contract tonight.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics meeting with Al Horford will happen tonight and that the Celtics will be offering him a full max contract.

Bulpett: Celtics' interest in Al Horford not dependent on Kevin Durant | Boston Herald

There had been talk during the season that perhaps the Hawks’ center, who turned 30 last month, wasn’t worth that level of a deal. But the Celts have apparently come around on that, and at four years for a little more than $113 million, he’d easily fit into their salary structure, with ample room left for a premier scorer.

The latter role would best be filled by Kevin Durant, with whom the Celtics will be meeting tomorrow on Long Island. If they can first reach an agreement with his friend Horford, that could make Boston a more desirable landing spot for Durant either now or next summer if he signs a one year deal with an option to stay in Oklahoma City this season.

But even if the C's fail on Durant, they see Horford as an important piece in how they want to play.

If the Celtics can get Horford to accept tonight, that both strengthens their own position with Durant and weakens the Thunder's position (as they are hoping to pair Horford with Durant as well).

Bulpett also reports that the Celtics' interest in Dwight Howard is only if he's willing to take "a very short team-friendly deal." And even that would have to wait for other options to dry up first. He also confirms the Cetlics' interest in Luol Deng.

More news as it develops.