Celtics Make Final Call on Al Horford’s Contract Situation: Report

Al Horford of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Al Horford of the Boston Celtics.

Al Horford made himself five million dollars richer next season with all that transpired on May 29, 2022. After the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, they just booked their trip to the 2022 NBA Finals. In so doing, Horford just earned himself a little extra money for next season.

When Horford originally agreed to his current deal with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2019, the last year of Horford’s deal depended financially on the success of the team he played for. If his team failed to at least make the NBA Finals in the first three years of his deal, the last year of his contract would be guaranteed for $14.5 million out of a possible $26.5 million. Now that the Celtics have made it to the finals, Horford’s partial guarantee for next season has been bumped up to $19.5 million. For the last year of his deal to be guaranteed in full, the Celtics will have to win the 2022 NBA Championship.

However, a recent report from Brian Robb of MassLive indicates that whether the Celtics win it all or not won’t impact how they approach the last year of Horford’s deal because they fully intend to bring him back next season.

League sources tell MassLive that the Celtics are expected to bring Horford back and guarantee the full $26.5 million no matter what happens in the NBA Finals after a sensational regular season by the 35-year-old followed up by one of the best postseasons of his career.

Even if the offseason hasn’t arrived yet for the Celtics, they’ve already put one of their most pressing issues this summer to rest.


Al Horford’s Career Earnings By 2023

This recent report indicating that the Celtics plan to keep Al Horford for next season, thus guaranteeing the last year of his contract fully regardless of what happens in the 2022 NBA Finals, means that Horford will be making $26.5 million next season.

According to Spotrac, Horford will have made $239,136,768 by the end of the 2021-22 season. That makes him the 15th-highest-paid player in NBA history. Only one other player in his draft has made more money than him- Kevin Durant.

Add the expected $26.5 million going into the 2022-23 season, and he will have made $265,636,768 throughout his entire career. By doing so, Horford is expected to leapfrog Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin, and Carmelo Anthony among the highest-paid players in NBA history.

If the Celtics get the same production from Horford next season that they got from him this season, it’s reasonable to believe he’ll be paid substantially more after his deal expires in 2023.


Boston’s Salary Cap Situation Past 2022-23

The Celtics don’t have to worry about Horford’s contract situation until next year, but it is something they will have to confront eventually nonetheless. Horford potentially re-signing with Boston all depends on what Boston wants to do when his deal expires next season.

According to Basketball-Reference, Boston’s payroll going into the 2023-24 season as of now will be split between Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, Daniel Theis, and Derrick White while Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard will have team options. The payroll will amount to $127,829,597. That’s not factoring Horford or Grant Williams.

Williams has had a resurgent year for Boston and has played an important role in their playoff run. This presumably will factor into his asking price when he and the Celtics discuss a possible extension in the 2022 NBA Offseason. Because Williams has been as productive as he has at only 23 years old, keeping him past his rookie deal will likely be one of their priorities, but that could get in the way of keeping Horford past 2023 if Boston gives Williams a sizable contract extension.

It would be best for Boston’s sake to keep both if Horford continues to show no signs of slowing down, but doing so could get very expensive.

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