The Boston Celtics pursued Al Horford before the February deadline, but Horford stayed with the Atlanta Hawks. Once he hits the free agency market, the Celtics will pounce on him once more.
The Atlanta Hawks decided that they want to retain their veteran core till the end of this season. Horford has featured in 63 games this season for the Hawks so far. He played 70 games last season, putting an end to doubts over his fitness as a player. This would draw more trade interest towards him and he is looking to take advantage of the increased salary cap room of the league for the next year.
The four-time All-star is capable of scoring from any position and his defense is rock solid too. He has posted 101 defensive rating this season and his career defense rating is 103, according to Basketball Reference. The massive 6’10” player has long arms and is averaging 1.6 blocks per game this season.
The Celtics are aware that Al Horford will be commanding a max contract in free agency. Earlier, he had an injury riddled past, but Horford has managed to get over it.
Whiteside Or Horford?
Hassan Whiteside or Al Horford? Who’s a more enticing free-agent? No doubt, Horford doesn’t have such all-round defensive qualities like Whiteside, but Horford’s offense gives him an edge over Whiteside in the free-agent market.
Horford has recently added another dimension to his game. He shot 186 three-point attempts, 150 more than his last season’s show. This makes him a distinct threat in the offense.
Dominican Horford will be 30 during the coming free agency and his numbers have declined slightly over the past two seasons. But still, the center averages 15.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, a testament of his current form. He posted 11 points and seven rebounds in the last game against Utah Jazz, according to ESPN. The makes him an ideal target for the Celtics to go all-out for.