Rumor: Al Horford and Rockets have ‘mutual interest,’ unsure if Celtics are still title contenders
Veteran big man Al Horford might be considering leaving the Boston Celtics in free agency because, according to reports, he no longer sees the team as a championship contender. Moreover, there is speculation about him having an interest in joining the Houston Rockets this summer:
#NBA Celtics – Hearing that Al Horford and the Houston Rockets have developed “mutual” interest. Horford is uncertain if Boston can still give him a chance to compete for a championship.
— Robot Dave (@Robot_Davey) June 16, 2019
Horford is still deciding on his $30.1 million player option with Boston. There has been talk about the former All-Star being open to restructuring his current deal with the team so they can better execute their plans this summer. However, with the imminent departure of Kyrie Irving and their inability to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, Boston is left with a bunch of young players and draft picks.
Big Al will be entering his 13th season in the league. He may be past his prime, but he was still productive last season, averaging 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He’s at the point of his career where he wants to win a championship, and the Rockets might be able to provide him with that opportunity.
However, if Houston will indeed go after Horford, the likely scenario for them would be a sign-and-trade with the Celtics. The problem is, Houston might not be willing to give up a younger, more athletic big man in Clint Capela for an aging veteran like Horford. Now, if the Rockets are able to trade for Horford while keeping Capela, they would surely add another talented player to their core group.
With the Golden State Warriors likely out of championship contention next season, the Western Conference is now wide open for teams like the Rockets to take over. However, they will have to make careful decisions during the draft and free agency if they want to have a legitimate shot at the title next year.
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