It seems all but certain that Al Horford, like Kyrie Irving, will leave the Boston Celtics once free agency opens.
But could the Celtics find a way to keep Horford around?
The Celtics reportedly are serious about pursuing Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker, a deal that absolutely would soften the blow of an Irving departure. Such news has prompted some to wonder if landing Walker would help Boston, in a last ditch effort, convince Horford to re-sign. One fan offered that question to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler, who had a pretty simple response.
Indeed, it seems that Horford re-signing at this point is a longshot.
From a salary cap standpoint, if the Celtics wanted to acquire Walker while keeping Horford, they would have to renounce Horford’s deal to create space for the point guard, leaving minimal room to pay the veteran big man. So yes, this scenario is a long shot.
And though his loss won’t be easy for the Celtics to swallow, parting ways would help them move the franchise in a different, younger direction.