Trade Talk: Celtics Labeled ‘Top Landing Spot’ for 5x All-Star

Celtics top landing spot for Al Horford

Getty Al Horford, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers, warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Aside from what seems like an unfathomable pursuit of Nikola Vucevic, most of the trade chatter surrounding the Boston Celtics in recent months has surrounded wing players. Jerami Grant and Harrison Barnes appear to be atop the team’s wish list — and rightfully so. Yet, while these versatile forwards would add a much-needed pop to the C’s lineup, they lack the size that Danny Ainge has so adamantly desired.

That’s where Al Horford comes in.

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Celtics-Al Horford Reunion Floated

A familiar face who spent three seasons in Boston from 2016-2019, Horford has crept back on the radar as a viable trade target thanks to his revitalized play in Oklahoma City this season.

While Robert Williams III appears to be blossoming in front of our very eyes, the Celtics still lack high-end, consistent production from their bigs, which is why Bleacher Report’s Mandela Namaste has labeled Boston as the “top landing spot” for the 34-year-old Horford.

Because of injuries and various other reasons, Boston’s lack of quality bigs has been noticeable this year. To address this concern, the team would be well-served to add a floor-spacing center, and there’s a familiar and available name who could fill this need: Al Horford.

After a disappointing season in Philadelphia, the big man has quietly rehabbed his trade value in Oklahoma City, averaging his most points per game (14.3) in five years while recording a 3.03 assist-to-turnover ratio, sixth-best among centers. Horford is 34, but he’s still a playoff-caliber contributor.

From the point guard position to an overall lack of bench depth, the Celtics have issues that a Horford reunion wouldn’t immediately solve. But he’d address one of their biggest needs, and that could make all the difference in the postseason.

Horford Addresses Trade Rumors

After a down season in Philadelphia where he averaged just 11.9 points per game (his lowest average since 2008), Horford has re-emerged as a highly-productive stretch big with the Thunder in 2020-21. Through 27 contests, he’s currently averaging 14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He’s also shooting 37.4% from beyond the arc, the second-best mark of his 14-year pro career. Furthermore, his jump in production comes despite the fact that he’s averaging 2.2 fewer minutes per game when compared to last season.

With that said, Horford’s stellar play matched with OKC’s inability to pull themselves out of the bottom dwellers of the Western Conference could eventually lead to a divorce. With title-contending teams likely calling, Horford claims Thunder GM Sam Presti has been up front with him about the possibilities of a potential trade.

“I think anything is possible,” Horford said, per Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. “But I’m not going to dwell on [any trade talk] too much.”

To further add fuel to not only trade speculation but more specifically Celtics trade speculation, Horford’s sister was recently spotted on Twitter donning a Celtics t-shirt. In Anna Horford’s defense, the photo was posted on St. Patrick’s Day. Yet, that didn’t stop Celtics fans and NBA Twitter from theorizing about a potential reunion between the Cs and their former All-Star.


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