It seems that NBA insiders like Marc Stein are slowly eliminating the teams that have recently been linked to Celtics' big man Al Horford, but nobody is sure who the "stealth" team is, that offered him a great commitment. one that was so big that Al withdrew from its business, and the Celtics were reluctant to keep it in the long run.
The Sixers were recently joined by Keith Pompey of Inky with Al Horford and have not themselves been ruled out. Could Philadelphia be the team that showed the most interest and willingness to beat Danny Ainge for someone who has caused Joel Embiid more problems than any other single player in the league?
The Boston Center seems to have found one or two deals that are simply too high for Danny Ainge to compete with the 33-year-old veteran. Yesterday, Zach Lowe debated with Adrian Wojnarowski, both from ESPN, in a podcast:
Wojnarowski: … [Horford is not] leaving Boston without knowing that there is anything significant out there and that a significant deal is likely to be at 4 Years, maybe over $ 100 million. There was a border where Danny Ainge and Boston wanted to attack Al Horford. They greatly appreciate him, but he is 33 years old, the idea of playing for four years –
Lowe: Smart Play of Boston
Wojnarowski: Right … "
It seems that both Lowe and Woj think that this would be an overpayment for someone and Ainge does not manage to do so. It would not be the most shocking thing in the world if Ainge got off on time and the Sixers would take over the big time tab when Horford abruptly refused. Ainge is often a few steps ahead of the Sixern.
Besides, who would know Horford's medical condition better than the Celtics because they managed his minutes all year and sometimes provided massive knee bandages during the game? This season, Horford was visibly uncomfortable and a step slower throughout the season as he worked on patellar tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome. These are both relatively typical overload injuries. Sometimes they are called "runner's knee". This can be an irritation of the kneecap and be influenced by the way it slides when moving the joint. This is the kind of thing that can ignite a long, periodic seasonal grind and get better at rest when there are no underlying mechanical issues. But even after missing games he was still months later uncomfortable and missed games until the beginning of April and was still listed in the playoffs with knee pain in the injury reports.
But as Woj and Lowe stress, age is the main criterion here. Horford was a really great player. In his 12-year career, he scored an average of 14.1 points and 8.4 rebounds. Since he can change and clear the floor while protecting the rim, he is an elite-level playoff multiplier. As mentioned earlier, he really did drive Embiid nuts. But has this experience left too much of an impact on the Sixers Front Office to expect a continuation of that level?
The Sixers Front Office has "many voices" and no "simple answer," as Woj describes in the same pod. He says that they are in an interesting situation because they are internally thinking about what to do to keep players like Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick. It may be tempting for some members of the Front Office to spend about $ 112 million (one of which is mentioned in rumors) for Horford, who can play both the 4 and the Backup 5 to spell Embiid, but with him at the same time exist. It's much less than the $ 189.66 they could pay for Jimmy Butler or Tobias Harris for a five-year contract, and a way to avoid paying luxury taxes – though the team says they willingly pay them. Why do not you save a few dollars if you can?
Because it just does not seem like a good idea. Horford does not have the most worrying injury history. In 2012 and 2013, he tore his right and left chest muscles. But now he is in the age where you tend to suffer more and new injuries. Maybe he can resist the trend that big men often experience. He will be between 33 and 36 years old within four years. Some bigs who do not run as much as they do fall off a cliff at that time. One might think that Horford's ability to move far from the edge and play a modern basketball style could be significantly affected if he slows down a bit. The Whole-Fatherhood Business …
The ability to avoid Butler and Harris would mean working as a cap-space team and spending more than $ 24 million less than if you were there of his various "returns" bird rights. They would have to give up Harris and JJ Redick to make Horford a great deal. And I do not expect it to be nearly as productive in the next four years as it has been in the past four years. It would be a great burden for him to play the best ball of his career if, in essence, they used their remaining place for him and one of Butler or Harris. It would be easier to fill out the rest of the list as an over-the-cap team and get a bigger exception than if they were to spend their time in Horford and fill out the Veterinary Min-Deals list.
For Philadelphia in the playoffs, the larger hurdle was not large, as they set up the largest lineup in the league. It's just that they were not fast enough in the transition and on the wings. This would be a much better place to spend his money than for someone who shares a position with Embiid and plays in a season in which knee-enditis severely curtailed his game.
Pro BasketballReference.com lists Horford's regular seasonal results each year. At the bottom right you can see how his points have lost a shadow in the last four years.
The Sixers should strive to retain Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. If they have to part with someone, Redick is the obvious choice. Leaving the team on Redick in the semifinals could do wonders for Ben Simmons and Tobias to be happier in their roles, as both seemed to be the most vulnerable in the playoffs. Then they can concentrate on filling in the edges of the wings with cheap sports guards. That cost her in the last round. Players like Malcolm Brogdon, Patrick Beverley, Danny Green, Cory Joseph, Darren Collison, Seth Curry, Shabazz Napier, Raul Neto and Justin Holiday may all be cheaper, some much younger and fill a much bigger hole in the Sixers squad. At least one that is not as easy to replace as the backup center. People like Noah Vonleh may offer many of the same things you would contact Horford for at a fraction of the cost.
After all, the best part is that Al does not come, that there's a good chance he will leave the East and your tormentor will be overpaid elsewhere.
This team has allocated too many resources for the location of the backup center. Last year, they went for 4 or 5 sentries to try to spell Embiid. You failed anyway. Of course, Horford is much better than Greg Monroe. Maybe they're considering Al because they love what he did against them in the playoffs in the past, and feel frustrated with all the guys they brought in, who were not so good. But at some point it is better to build to Joel Embiid, than to build it on . This would be a very expensive and very risky, redundant misallocation of resources.