Key Veteran Commits Remainder of Career to Celtics: Report

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Getty Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics have ensured that Al Horford will retire a Celtics, inking the veteran big man to a two-year deal worth $20 million, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

“Horford, a five-time All-Star, will earn $26.5M this season — with the new deal beginning in 2023-2024. The extension eliminates the possibility of a repeat of 2019 when Horford left the Celtics for a more lucrative free agency offer,” Wojnarowski Tweeted in a follow-up to his report. 

Horford has been fantastic since returning to the Celtics at the start of the 2021-22 NBA season courtesy of a trade that saw Kemba Walker and future draft capital, helping the team make a run to the NBA Finals last season before revamping his offensive game over the summer to become more of a perimeter threat.

To begin this season, Horford is averaging 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 48.8% from deep and 64.9% from two-point range. Furthermore, Horford’s presence within the Celtics locker room has long been noted as a positive factor, and having him tied down for a further two seasons will ensure continuity in how the Celtics look to hold each other accountable.

Horford’s Extension Makes Negotiations Easier for Williams

During the summer, Grant Williams was unable to agree to a contract extension with the Celtics and will become an unrestricted free agent as a result. By inking Horford to an extension now, the Celtics will be able to commit their full focus on reaching an agreement with their sharpshooting forward at the end of the season, rather than splitting their attention between two players.

“Big move from the Celtics in extending Al Horford for two years $20 million. $10 million a year in average annual value, this is gonna give the Celtics a lot more room to negotiate with Grant Williams once he hits restricted free agency at the end of the season. Simply because they already have a better idea of what their financial situation is going to be like cap-wise. And, they won’t have to deal with trying to negotiate with both Horford and Grant at the same time. Huge move by Brad Stevens, love the fact that Al is going to be with the team for the remainder of his career, let’s go,” I said when analyzing the extension on Instagram. 

Horford will be 39 when his extension ends, meaning there’s a legitimate chance that this will be his final contract in the NBA and he will retire with the Celtics.

Celtics ‘Intended’ For Horford to Retire With The Team

In mid-October, an Eastern Conference Executive, who was speaking with Heavy on Sports Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, noted how Boston’s intention was for Horford to eventually retire with the franchise. 

“The intention as far as what most of us have heard is Al is going to retire in Boston. Now, if you can use him to get a high-level star? Maybe that changes. But they do not want to move off of him unless there is a really significant opportunity,” The executive said.

Horford’s game is based on playing the angles and utilizing his positional awareness and smart shot selection, so, one would hope that his increasing age has little effect on his ability to impact games – either as a starter or from the bench. Either way, Celtics fans can look forward to seeing a true fan favorite continue his tenure with the team for the remainder of the current season and the following two years.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments