As a veteran in the twilight of his NBA career, Al Horford doesn’t make a ton of sense on a rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder squad. With the NBA trade deadline in the rear view and Horford having a whole lot of money slated to come his way on his current contract, leaving the team this year is not tenable.
Because of this, Horford will not suit up for the Thunder again this season. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the two sides have come to a mutual agreement that Horford won’t be active for another game this year, and in a statement, Horford explained how they came to this decision.
“When I arrived, I understood the direction of the team, we had a great individual plan in place for me, and I feel like as a result I’ve played really good basketball for the Thunder. At the same time, I know what it’s like to be a young, aspiring player, and at this point in the season I understand how important playing meaningful minutes is for their careers and their development,” Horford said in a statement. “I also understand how important it is for the organization to give them that opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to supporting the guys who supported me, watching them continue to play the right way and play together as we have throughout the season, while still being around the team and continuing my training.”
Wojnarowski reports that the Thunder, Horford, and his agent will all work together to find a new landing spot during the offseason. Horford, who came to the team via a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers last offseason, will have two years and $53 million left on his deal next year.