Philadelphia 76ers Land Al Horford in Free Agency
The rumors must've been correct all along. For a couple of weeks now, the Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to former Boston Celtics big man, Al Horford. The multi-talented center/forward has been a notable enemy of the Sixers for some time. As Horford did one of the better jobs keeping Joel Embiid in check over the last two years, he has become somewhat of a despised athlete in the eyes of the 76ers fan base.
Well, the tables have turned now. And it looks like the boos and the bad statements about Horford are going to have to turn into cheers and compliments if he serves the Sixers well. On Sunday night, the 76ers broke the bank on Tobias Harris at the start of the NBA free agency period. Shortly after, they pumped out two moves quickly. One move was signing Jimmy Butler to the max, and trading him off to the Miami Heat as expected.
The second quick move was signing Al Horford to a four-year deal. And as expected, Horford's contract will exceed the $100 million mark. On paper, it's not pretty for the Sixers. Considering that Horford's 33-years-old, his price tag looks a bit expensive.
But the Sixers didn't have many options here. Horford's market was going to be over $100 million wether it was in Philly, or somewhere else. The Sixers wanted him, and they had the money to get him, so they wasted no time inking him to a multi-year deal. Being that the Sixers broke the bank on Horford, there's very little chance he comes off the bench.
Horford will most likely start at power forward, while Joel Embiid remains in his natural position. However, Horford will be more than just a starting power forward for the Sixers. He also becomes a great insurance policy for Philly if Embiid is fatigued or hurt.Since Embiid struggled to stay healthy down the stretch last season, the Sixers might have an easier time managing the young center's workload knowing that they have Horford on board.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @JGrasso_