The Boston Celtics got their man. Might another be joining him?
Despite the most recent momentum suggesting that Al Horford was leaning toward returning to the Atlanta Hawks, basketball’s marquee free agent big man announced his intentions to sign with Boston on Saturday night.
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided details of Horford’s agreed upon contract mere seconds after the 30 year old pledged allegiance to green and gold.
All indications before nightfall were that the four-time All-Star was planning to leave Atlanta. Not only were the Hawks without cap space after agreeing to large deals with Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore, but they supposedly hadn’t offered Horford a contract worth the full five year maximum amount allowable.
But the sides grew closer as the day wore on, to the extent that Atlanta was reportedly aggressively shopping Paul Millsap – who many consider Mike Budenholzer’s best player, by the way – to teams across the league. Ultimately, though, the Hawks never quite found enough available cash to give Horford the contract he wanted to stay with the team that drafted him in 2007.
The Vertical also notes that the Washington Wizards, who apparently led for Horford earlier in the day, remained a viable destination until a decision came to pass. But the Wizards’ major loss, obviously, might be an bigger win for the Celtics than it seems on the surface.