Al Horford Contract Serving as Roadblock in Potential Celtics Trade: Insider

Al Horford Boston Celtics

Getty Al Horford of the Boston Celtics.

It’s been a dominant season so far for the Boston Celtics. Even after dropping their third straight game in a loss to the New York Knicks, Boston has the best record in the NBA. One of the driving forces behind the Celtics’ success is their impressive depth. Following last season’s loss in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens went out and improved the roster.

With the February 9 NBA Trade Deadline quickly approaching, there continues to be speculation about Stevens going all in on this season’s squad. Many fans and media members have been wondering if Boston will add another big man to give the team some injury insurance.

The most commonly mentioned player has been Jakob Poeltl of the San Antonio Spurs. Poeltl is in the final year of his contract, and the Spurs may look to get something back for him in a trade, rather than just letting him walk in the summer.

In a January 26 article for the Athletic, Jay King reported that a deal between Boston and San Antonio, surrounding Poeltl, seems unlikely. King cited sources around the NBA, explaining that Poeltl will likely be dealt somewhere where he could stay a while.

“League sources outside of the Boston organization downplayed the likelihood of a Poeltl acquisition, pointing out that if the Spurs do deal him, the impending free agent would make more sense somewhere he is a better long-term fit. With (Al) Horford and (Robert) Williams each signed through at least the 2024-25 season, Boston likely has no room to commit to Poeltl as a starter on a big, long-term contract.”

The Celtics extended Horford for two years back in December, seemingly setting the groundwork for the 36-year-old to end his career in Boston.

Celtics ‘Could Pursue’ Doug McDermott: Analyst

Poeltl is not the only player, or member of the Spurs for that matter, that Boston has been linked to this season.

In a January 26 article for Bleacher Report, Zach Buckley suggested that the Celtics make a deal for Doug McDermott.

“While the Celtics boast elite shooting marks across the board, a designated three-point specialist could still carve out a helpful role in this rotation, Buckley wrote. “If the Celtics haven’t at least discussed a deal for Doug McDermott by now, they’re doing this wrong.”

Buckley detailed why he believes the former Creighton standout would be a good fit at TD Garden.

“The veteran sharpshooter owns a career splash rate of 41 percent. He’s a savvy enough mover off the ball that he could find his footing alongside Boston’s stars and a good enough inside-the-arc scorer to maintain value even when opponents run him off the three-point line,” Buckley wrote.

McDermott’s $13.7 million salary would make the deal difficult, likely requiring the Celtics to include Payton Pritchard and Danillo Gallinari in any potential trade.

Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla Sends Wholesome Message To Jaylen Brown

Despite Boston’s current three-game losing streak, the positive vibes remain in-tact for the C’s. After Jaylen Brown missed two clutch free throws against the Knicks, his coach wasted no time and shared a heartfelt message with the star.

After the game, Interim Head Coach Joe Mazzulla filled reporters in about what he’d said to Brown after the loss.

“I love you, Jaylen and I believe in you,” he shared with the media via NBC Sports Boston.

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