Proposed Trade Ships 5-Time All-Star to Celtics for Al Horford 

Al Horford trade proposal would send John Wall to Celtics

Getty Celtics big man Al Horford may soon be on the move.

Al Horford’s fairytale return to Beantown looks to be on the cusp of imploding. Just seven months after re-acquiring the veteran big man in the Kemba Walker deal, the Celtics appear willing to ditch Horford at this year’s deadline. On January 19, The Athletic’s Jared Weiss reported that the Cs are exploring trade options involving the five-time All-Star as a way to shake up their roster.

Initial reports claim that Boston is seeking another center/forward in return for Horford’s services, which would theoretically point to the Jeff Greens and Jalen Smiths of the world as potential targets — two players that have been readily linked to the Celtics in recent weeks. Having said that, with the Celtics being urged more and more to move away from a double-big lineup, a case could be made that finding another big man to play next to Robert Williams may not be the best use of Horford’s trade value. Instead, Boston could unload Horford as a way to help solidify their backcourt, which is exactly what Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz proposes Brad Stevens and the Celtics do.

B/R Proposal Unloads Horford, Josh Richardson & Romeo Langford

Horford isn’t the lone player that Boston is shopping at the deadline. On January 17, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported during a segment on “NBA Today” that the Celtics are also gauging the trade value of Marcus Smart, Josh Richardson and a flurry of their young wings — amongst others.

Swartz proposes the Cs package the bulk of those players, alongside Horford, in a deal that he deems a “realistic” trade to finally pry John Wall away from Houston. Here’s how the B/R proposal shapes up:

  • Houston Rockets Receive:
    • SG Romeo Langford
    • G/F Josh Richardson
    • F/C Al Horford
  • Boston Celtics Receive: 
    • PG John Wall
    • F Jae’Sean Tate
    • 2023 first-round pick (unprotected via Milwaukee Bucks)

via Swartz:

Boston ranks 21st in assist percentage (58.4 percent) and 22nd in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.62) and almost certainly won’t be able to re-sign current point guard Dennis Schroder this offseason. Wall is extremely overpaid but could give the Celtics stability at the point after averaging 20.6 points, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game last season.

The 31-year-old should be well-rested after sitting out the year so far, awaiting a trade while the Rockets focus on developing their young players, and he would be an added offensive force for a Celtics team in danger of missing the playoffs. For taking on his contract, however, Boston should ask for some sweeteners.

As far as “sweeteners” go, a 26-year-old two-way wing in Tate is certainly appealing. In his second season with the Rockets, the Ohio native is averaging career bests in points (12.5), rebounds (5.7) and assists (3.1). He’s also knocking down 50.3% of his attempts from the field for the second consecutive season.

Of course, also sprinkling in a future first-round selection never hurts.

The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Celtics!

Latest on Wall’s Situation

The clear caveat here is Wall’s contract. The former third-team All-NBA selection is on the books for north of $44 million this season and has a player option in excess of $47 million in 2022-23. It’s the main reason why the 31-year-old remains grounded in Houston despite averaging 20.6 points, 6.9 assists and a 38.4% shooting percentage on catch-and-shoot threes a season ago.

Still, while suitors may be cautious, the Rockets and Wall continue to work side-by-side in hopes of finding the best way to unload the former No. 1 overall pick, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

“Wall and the front office continue to remain in constant communication as the season progresses, with transparent communication a priority,” Iko wrote on January 24. “The Rockets want to find a positive solution elsewhere for Wall, although his market is somewhat blurred due to the financial obstacles a trade would present.”


Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Billy O'Reilly
Billy O'Reilly
1 year ago

Do you guys at heavy, bleacher report and hardwood houdini actively have competitions to see who can come up with the dumbest trade scenarios? There’s no way you guys type this and take yourselves seriously🤡

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x