Al Horford has been a model of consistency over the past two seasons, posting nearly identical numbers, including 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game last season. However, we have seen him do a lot more than that, most recently in 2013-14, when he averaged 18.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him return to those levels after joining the Celtics, who might be more interested in featuring him than the Hawks, who built their identity around sharing the ball. Even if he just repeats last season's production -- which included a career-high 88 3-pointers -- Horford is a borderline elite center option who should be off the board by the end of the third round in most Fantasy leagues on Draft Day.
Horford (rest) will be available off the bench for Wednesday's preseason finale, but is not expected to play, Jay King of MassLive.com reports. The Celtics are resting four of their five usual starters, with Amir Johnson the only player taking on his normal role. Jonas Jerebko will move into the starting lineup in Horford's place and should have his workload increased while running with the top unit. Horford should be good to go for his regular season debut with the Celtics on Oct. 26 against the Nets.
Horford compiled 13 points (5-8 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, one block and one steal across 21 minutes in Thursday's 100-97 preseason win over the Nets. Horford has provided an immediate impact to the Celtics' frontcourt in his first three preseason appearances, averaging 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game. He'll see his playing time trend closer to the 30-minute range once the regular season arrives, so it's not out of the question for Horford to deliver high-teens scoring and double-digit boards on a consistent basis in 2016-17.
Horford is expected to be rested for Saturday's matchup with the Hornets, Chris Forsberg of ESPN reports. The Celtics are simply giving some of their regulars an extra day off, as Amir Johnson, Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas (wrist) will also sit out. Tyler Zeller will get the nod at center in Horford's absence.
Horford produced eight points (4-8 FG, 0-2 3Pt), eight rebounds and one steal across 15 minutes in Tuesday's 92-89 preseason loss to the 76ers. Horford was listed as the Celtics' starting center, but he was deployed as more of a stretch-four type while playing alongside frontcourt starter Amir Johnson. Though he failed to cash in on his two looks from long distance, Horford should continue to see more work behind the arc after increasing his three-point makes and percentage in both of the last two seasons. Horford's ability to stretch the floor and provide toughness inside makes him a rare breed among the Celtics' big man, so expect him to settle in as the team's No. 2 offensive option after point guard Isaiah Thomas.
Horford has agreed to sign a four-year, $113 million contract with the Celtics, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Horford was one of the leagues most coveted free agents and had several teams vying for his services. He was an All-Star in 2016, and will be a large and immediate upgrade to the Celtics' front court. Horford averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 51 percent in 32.1 minutes per game last season with the Hawks.
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