Trade Proposal Sees Celtics Reunite With 5x-All Star, Deal 2 Starters

Al Horford-Celtics trade floated

Getty Al Horford #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks to pass as Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics.

The idea of a potential Al Horford-Boston Celtics reunion has been floated before. Sports Illustrated Chris Mannix backed the idea back in February. This time, CelticsWire’s Justin Quinn took things a step further, drawing up a potential package to bring the five-time All-Star back to Beantown.

While Boston’s payroll may give fans a reason to pause, Quinn mustered up a deal that would allow the Celtics to remain under the $132.6 million luxury tax. Here’s the hypothetical trade in its entirety:

  • Boston Celtics Receive
    • Al Horford, F/C
  • Oklahoma City Thunder Receive 
    • Tristan Thompson, C
    • Daniel Theis, F/C
    • Jeff Teague, G (or Carsen Edwards, G)

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Overview of Trade Proposal

“If the Celtics were to deal Tristan Thompson, Daniel Theis and Jeff Teague to OKC, they’d slide in at $2.47 million under the tax, with the wiggle room and roster space to sign a minimum player with under 10 years of experience,” Quinn wrote.

The USA Today Sports columnist also floated the idea of second-year pro Carsen Edwards being an alternative option if the Thunder soured at the thought of taking on Teague as their third guard.

Teague, an offseason acquisition for Boston, was expected to be the first guard off the bench this season for the Celtics. Instead, the former All-Star is playing behind both Kemba Walker and rookie Payton Pritchard. ThunderWire’s Logan Newman believes if OKC were to pull the trigger on a deal with Teague included, he would “likely be waived or relegated to the back of the bench.”

After looking as if he was beginning to carve out a viable role in Boston’s rotation earlier this season, Edwards has once again fallen out of favor, failing to log playing time in 10 of the C’s last 12 games.

While Teague has disappointed thus far this season, he is by far the more favored of the two guards. Teague has averaged nearly 20 minutes per game over his last eight contests, scoring exactly 14 points in three of those games.


What Acquiring Horford Would Mean for Boston

As for the bigs involved in the proposal, moving off both Thompson and Theis would theoretically free up vastly more opportunities for Robert Williams. The Time Lord has begun to eat into Theis’ minutes of late, although coach Brad Stevens continues to be a bit all over the place when it comes to his rotation at the four and five-spot.

Thompson has been the most called upon contributor down low, averaging 22.5 minutes per game in 2020-21. With that said, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes has reported that the starting center could be dealt prior to the trade deadline, linking the Toronto Raptors as a potential destination.

Horford, 34, is producing as his typically steady self during his first season in Oklahoma City. In fact, the wily veteran is currently averaging an impressive 14.4 ppg, his highest average since 2015 and more than he averaged during his three-year stint in Boston.

Horford left the Celtics two summers ago to sign a monster deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. However, with his price tag now reduced, the aforementioned Chris Mannix would take the big man “back in a heartbeat.”

“We know he fits in Brad Stevens’ system, he can play the 5, he can play a little bit of 4, he can shoot the 3 which he’s done a lot better this year than he did in Philadelphia. And let’s not forget the Celtics, they wanted Al Horford to come back,” Mannix said on NBC Sports Boston’s Early Edition. “They just didn’t want to pay him four years, $100-plus million the Sixers were willing to offer. Now he’s got two-and-a-half years left on his contract, around $70ish million total on that deal. I would take him back in a heartbeat.”

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