Al Horford to the Philadelphia 76ers
What’s the deal?
Horford inked a 4-year, $109,000,000 deal with the 76ers. The contract is guaranteed for $97,000,000.
What does Horford bring to the 76ers?
Horford has been arguably the most versatile big man in the NBA for the past couple of years. He is able to get buckets in the low post and can also pop out to the three-point line, where he is a 36.8 percent career shooter.
Defensively is where Horford really shines. He has very quick feet that allow him to guard smaller forwards and guards on the perimeter, but he is also big and strong enough to be a force blocking shots and protecting the rim in the paint.
He was one of the best defenders of Joel Embiid even though Embiid has about 4 inches and 20 pounds on Big Al.
Horford is also one of the best leaders in the League, universally beloved by all teammates that he has crossed paths with. He is a player who will be totally fine as the fourth option on this loaded Sixer team, and his selflessness may be his best asset for the Sixers.
What does this move mean for the 76ers?
This move makes the Sixers the favorites to come out of the East in the 2019-20 season. After witnessing the intense length of the 76ers last year with a starting lineup of Ben Simmons, JJ Reddick, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid, I didn’t think they could get any better on the defensive end or get any bigger for that matter. They just did.
Horford can slide in right next to Embiid and will lockdown on the defensive end and can play on the perimeter on the offensive end, allowing Embiid to dominate the paint offensively and defensively. Their new projected starting lineup of Simmons, Josh Richardson, Harris, Horford, and Embiid is the biggest and most likely the best defensive lineup in the NBA, and may rival some of the best defensive lineups in NBA history.
Contract Grade: B+
Horford will be 36 in the final year of this contract, and while I think it’s definitely worth taking a shot on one of the most unique big men in the NBA, his value might diminish drastically near the end of that fourth year. In the short term though, this is a fantastic deal that puts the Sixers right back in the championship conversation.
I can’t wait to see this new iteration of the Philadelphia 76ers. With the addition of Horford, him and Embiid become one of the biggest and most versatile big man combinations in NBA history. While we’ve seen the twin towers approach in Hakeem and Sampson, Duncan and Robinson, and even the short lived Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins duo, we have never seen a duo like Embiid and Horford that can both play in and out, both stretch the floor, and are both All-Defensive players. I can’t wait to see them in action.