Report: Celtics, Wizards 'front-runners' to sign Al Horford, decision Saturday
Boston would still have enough cap space to sign Kevin Durant, too
One of the biggest names on the free agency market, Al Horford, has reportedly narrowed down his choices to two teams. Several teams like the Pistons, Warriors and Thunder were rumored to be pursuing Horford but according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, the All-Star big man is deciding between either the Boston Celtics or the Washington Wizards.
According to Wojnarowski, Horford will likely sign a four-year, $113 million max deal with either team but is carefully weighing his options. Wojnarowski also reports that Horford will make a final decision on Saturday night.
The Hawks could offer Horford more money and a five-year contract but after they agreed to sign Dwight Howard, it seemed like Atlanta was deciding to go in a different direction. But Atlanta's loss will likely be Boston's or Washington's gain.
Horford has been linked to the Celtics for quite some time and has been in seemingly constant contact with All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas. According to Thomas, he texted with Horford right before the start of free agency and believes that the All-Star big man is "very serious" about joining the Celtics. Thomas along with Jae Crowder were part of the Celtics' group that met with Horford on Friday , so he has been very involved in Boston's recruitment. That meeting, according to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach, went "very well" and Boston left the meeting feeling like they had a "good chance" of signing Horford.
If he chooses the Celtics, Horford would have a very well defined role in Boston and should continue to thrive under the expertise of coach Brad Stevens. Having Horford instantly makes the Celtics one of the more elite teams in the East. Also if Horford does sign with the Celtics, Boston will still still have enough cap space to potentially sign Kevin Durant, who they are meeting with on Saturday, without having to trade anybody. A team of Thomas, Horford and Durant would definitely be able to challenge LeBron James and the Cavs in the East.
The Wizards would be an intriguing choice for Horford. Nene is likely done in Washington so if he signs there, the Wizards would have a very good starting lineup featuring Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal, John Wall and Horford. In Washington, Horford will primarily be a power forward which is a change from Atlanta but it is a role in which he can excel.
Horford clearly has a rather interesting to choice to make. Both the Celtics and Wizards would be good fits for his game and if the money is the same in both places, he will have to make a rather difficult decision about the next four years of his career. Whatever Horford decides, it does seem clear that his tenure in Atlanta has come to an end.
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