Last night, the Boston Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 after defeating the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Al Horford was a massive part of that effort. This morning, it looks like he’s going to be as much as $12M richer because of it.
Al Horford's contract guarantee for 2022-23 has raised from $14.5M to $19.5M.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 30, 2022
It's the best $5M the Celtics could ever spend.
It will go up the full $26.5M if Boston wins the NBA Finals. And that will be $7M more VERY well-spent too.
According to a report by Mass Live’s Brian Robb, the Celtics plan to fully guarantee the final year of Al Horford’s contract which is locked behind a few guarantees. For one, Horford’s contract already became guaranteed up to $19.5M just by virtue of making the Finals in the first place. Had the Celtics lost, they would have just been on the hook for $14.5M. Horford’s contract has one last barrier to a full guarantee – winning it all.
This would take his contract up from a partially guaranteed $19.5M to a fully guaranteed $26.5M contract that would expire in the summer of 2023, leading Horford to be a free agent next summer.
Now, why would the Celtics do this?
Al Horford’s impact this season – particularly this postseason – has had a massive impact on the team’s success. He’s been spectacular on both ends, both in the regular season as part of the NBA’s best defense and in the postseason as an anchor who stretches the floor.
He’s 35 years old, and he’ll have turned 36 by the time Game 2 of the NBA Finals tips off. Horford is averaging 11.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 50% shooting from the field, 43% from behind the 3-point line, and 83% from the free-throw line. Did I mention that he’s almost 36?
141 playoff games without a Finals appearance. That was the black mark on Horford’s record going into last night’s game. Through a variety of tough performances, including his iconic 30-point performance to keep the Celtics alive against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round, Horford has been the steady rock.
He’ll be able to afford a lot more rocks with $26.5M next season, if this report is any indication.
The Celtics will tip off Game 1 of the NBA Finals (!) against the Golden State Warriors at 9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 2nd.