Al Horford: Los Angeles Clippers
When Al Horford chose to turn down his $30.1 million player option for the upcoming season, it was initially reported he’d be doing so to renegotiate a three-year deal with the Boston Celtics. That quickly devolved into his likely departure, with the knowledge he had a four-year offer in the $112 million range waiting.
Who that mystery team is remains to be seen. Stein confirmed it’s not the Dallas Mavericks, but The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor reported the Mavs are the favorites to land Horford. It’d make some sense to pair him with Kristaps Porzingis in a dynamic, versatile, stretchy frontcourt. Stein also shot down the New Orleans Pelicans as the stealth suitor, though they’d be a good fit and have the cap space to pursue him.
The list of other potential suitors is extensive. The Sacramento Kings could put all their energy and cap space into adding a well-respected veteran to their young core, especially with Willie Cauley Stein reportedly wanting out.
The Lakers might be a fit if their other options fell through, though allocating max space to a 33-year-old would be a leap with bigger fish to fry. Maybe the San Antonio Spurs or Indiana Pacers sneak in there despite their current frontcourt situations.
In any case, we’re going with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers, Nets and Knicks will all be focused elsewhere, but the Clippers need a starting-caliber center, especially with Ivica Zubac being a restricted free agent. Horford could fit no matter who LAC lures this summer, and he’d represent a solid secondary plan if their primary options fell through.