Rumor: Kings, Hawks are believed to be after Al Horford
Free agent forward Al Horford is not interested in taking a pay cut to return to the Boston Celtics next season. At 33 years old, he wants to secure a big paying four-year contract for the last time in his career. He might get that somewhere else, as the Atlanta Hawks and the Sacramento Kings are reportedly interested in signing him this summer.
I texted someone in the league for their guesses and got back two pretty interesting answers…SAC and ATL. I’ll also say from witnessing firsthand that Al loves Mike Budenholzer & staff even after he left.
— Bryan Oringher (@ScoutWithBryan) June 18, 2019
Having spent at least a decade in the league, Horford embraced the role of being a mentor to the younger generation, which is one of the reasons why he is loved in Boston. He was a locker room leader with the Celtics and he had a significant impact on the development of guys like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart.
The Hawks and the Kings could surely use his services, as both teams are rebuilding around young prospects. Atlanta has Rookie of the Year candidate Trae Young and sophomore forward John Collins, while Sacramento has Most Improved Player of the Year nominee De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield.
It is unclear if Horford will agree to take less money to sign with a contender, but expect the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks to show interest in him. Moreover, he and the Houston Rockets reportedly have ‘mutual interest,’ so the Celtics could agree to a sign-and-trade with the Green Gang as well.
The Celtics’ masterplan of building a superteam collapsed even before they could start to execute it.
Now they will just have to build around the young guys and see what happens moving forward.