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Danny Ainge says the possibility of restructuring Al Horford’s contract will be discussed

Celtics, Danny Ainge, Al Horford

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge seems to be open to the idea of restructuring Al Horford’s contract, according to a report from Jay King of The Athletic.

Horford, now 33 of age, has a player option for next season. The former No. 3 overall pick signed a four-year, $113 million deal with the Celtics in 2016. Ainge says it will be one of the team’s priorities to keep him on-board:

The Celtics finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 49-33 overall record, earning a No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Boston swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round. However, the C’s were ultimately sent home in the second round, as they were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks in five games.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” Horford told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps after losing to the Bucks in the playoffs. “Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. It just didn’t work out, and at the end of the day, you have to give Milwaukee credit. They were the better team than us. That’s the reality.”

Horford has become an integral piece of Boston’s rotation. Keeping a player of his caliber around might not be a bad idea.

In 68 regular season appearances (all starts), Horford racked up averages of 13.6 points on 53.5 percent shooting from the field (36.0 percent from beyond the arc), 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists 1.3 blocks and just under one steal (0.9) in 29.0 minutes per outing.

Though Horford could choose to opt out of the final year of his deal, he says he’s been happy in Boston:

“It’s something that I haven’t even stopped to think about,” Horford told MassLive. “I’ve enjoyed being here in Boston. Just have to wait and see what we’re going to do as a team. And it’s steps that the management is going to do moving forward, and continue to get better.”

Other teams would likely be interested in Horford’s services. After all, he is one of the better big men in the NBA, despite the fact that he’s dealt with knee issues in the past. Let’s see which route he and the Celtics choose.