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Rumor: Al Horford now expected to leave Boston too

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The sum of all our fears. Al Horford could be leaving the Celtics as well.

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The hits keep on coming. Most had long assumed that Al Horford would be back on a team friendly deal for the next three years and reports earlier today indicated just such a scenario.

Steven Bulpett of the Herald is reporting a major change in that philosophy.

Woj followed up:

Bulpett later elaborated in his column:

Kyrie Irving’s expected free agent departure for Brooklyn, reported here last week, is not said to have had any effect on Horford’s decision. As well, Horford and multiple people around him have insisted he is happy with Boston and the Celtics’ organization. This therefore appears to simply be a move for a better chance at a championship with a club willing to pay him more on a longer term contract.

Nobody will fault Horford for taking stock of his situation and deciding to look for a big role on a title contender. That’s his right as a free agent and he’s been nothing but a professional and leader in Boston.

Clearly this would be a huge blow to the Celtics next-steps plans and could greatly alter their draft strategy for Thursday night.

As Keith Smith reports, the Celtics can now free up a lot of cap space to chase free agents.

It was clear at the end of the season that something had to change in Boston, but I wasn’t exactly expecting all of this.