Brad Stevens has already moved Juancho Hernangomez in a trade, and he may not be done. According to old friend Jared Weiss of The Athletic, the next big man that could be on the move is Al Horford.
After spending the 16th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to acquire Al Horford in the offseason, the Boston Celtics are exploring trading him as they pursue another center, league sources told The Athletic.
Only $14.5 million of his $26.5 million salary is guaranteed next season, making him potentially attractive to teams looking to move off long-term money or take on his salary for an additional asset.
Horford has been a steadying veteran and solid defensive presence for the Celtics this year. However, his outside shooting has regressed and his long term value to the team is likely to diminish as time goes by.
If the Celtics were focused on cost cutting and freeing up cap space, they could waive Horford this offseason and free up some space. But if the team can use his salary to acquire another player or two that make more sense to the long term goals of this team, then they should. Who that player or players could be is the key question.
Of course, the team could also decide to guarantee Horford’s contract next year. But tying up $26.5M on an aging, and potentially backup center doesn’t seem like the best cap management plan.