It was a bit of a surprise when word broke that Al Horford would reportedly decline his $30.1 million player option with the Boston Celtics, to test the free-agent waters this summer.
Horford, who signed a four-year deal with the Celtics during the summer of 2016, is reportedly looking to sign another long-term contract this summer.
The 33-year-old center is expected to draw interest in several teams, but the money he may be seeking might not be what teams are willing to offer.
Here are five teams that could sign Horford once free agency begins on June 30.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have a young core set leading with Zion Williamson and will reportedly acquire Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for Anthony Davis. Adding a veteran like Al Horford could be the next play for the Pelicans. According to Bleacher Report, New Orleans could be one of the teams willing to offer Horford a lucrative contract during free agency.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are also a team who could offer Horford a deal, according to Bleacher Report. The Clippers have their sights set on bigger names in the offseason – that’s for certain. But adding a veteran like Horford could only enhance a roster that’s also filled with some young players.
The Mavericks were another team that Bleacher Report mentioned could offer Horford a lucrative contract. Horford could be getting a kind of deal from Dallas that he can’t pass up, ex-Celtics star Paul Pierce told Mass Live. A possible lineup of Horford, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis might make Dallas a better competitor next season.
The 76ers reportedly have “some level of interest” in signing Horford and the team could be the contender Horford would want to sign with given the established young core that includes Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Horford wouldn’t be the only target for the Sixers this offseason.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers and Clippers will appear to be vying for each of the big-name free agents on the market this summer. Horford reportedly will be no different. According to The Ringer, the Lakers will have interest in Horford once the market opens. However, whether the Lakers will try to offer the center a lucrative deal is something that’s unclear at this point of the offseason.