NBA trade rumors: Sixers don't want to trade Al Horford because of Bucks
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Rumor: Sixers don’t want to trade Al Horford because of Bucks

Sixers, NBA, Al Horford

The Sixers may be active at the NBA’s Feb. 6 trade deadline, but they reportedly won’t trade big man Al Horford.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (h/t Ky Carlin of USA TODAY Sixers Wire), the Sixers plan to keep Horford because they need his size once the team meets the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs:

“I think the hard part for them, and they’ve acknowledged it, how do they stack together contracts and picks to bring back an established player? You look at their roster and you go OK, they don’t want to trade Al Horford. They brought Al Horford in there because they wanted his size. They’re trying to beat Milwaukee. They want to beat the Bucks to win the East and they need size to do that and they need Al Horford to do that.”

Horford has a history of defending Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo fairly well. Although Horford’s fit with Sixers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons has been iffy this season, it appears the Sixers are hell-bent on acquiring more shooting and playmakers instead of parting ways with their All-Star big man.

In 45 games this season for the Sixers, Horford is averaging 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He’s shooting 44.9 percent from the field, 31.6 percent from beyond the arc and 72.2 percent from the free-throw line.

The Sixers are 31-19 on the season. They are in sixth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings.

The Sixers play like an elite team at home. On the road, they look like one of the worst units in the NBA. That’s going to have to change post All-Star break if the Sixers want to get a higher seed and possibly earn home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, just like the previous two seasons.

The Sixers will ultimately go as far as Embiid and Simmons can take them, but they will need Horford to play like his old All-Star self too. The Sixers aren’t paying Horford all that money to be a role player.