Philadelphia is going to head into next season the team to beat in the East — even after trading away Jimmy Butler. Part of that is they got Josh Richardson in return from Miami, a lot of fans don’t realize just how good Richardson is.
Then came this news with it — the Philadelphia 76ers are signing Al Horford. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news.
Nothing is given, but the Sixers have the kind of team that may force ownership to pay Horford those bonuses.
Horford is as well-rounded a player as there is in the NBA — he does everything well. He may not have a single off-the-charts skill, but he is a “B+” or better player at everything — shooting, rebounding, passing, rim protection, playing a high IQ game. Horford is the ultimate glue big man. He averaged 13.6 points a game last season, shot 36 percent from three, but everything just worked better with him on the court. In the playoffs, the Celtics outscored their opponents by 3.8 points per 100 possessions with Horford on the court, but when he went off Boston was beaten by -13.4 per 100. He meant that much.
League watchers (and team officials) had wondered who the secret suitor for Horford was, the rumor was there was a four-year $112 million offer out there. The Mavericks and Pelicans denied it was them, but nobody saw the Sixers pulling off these two moves.
Philly will have Ben Simmons at the point, Richardson at the two, Tobias Harris at the three, Horford as a stretchy power forward, and Joel Embiid at center. When Embiid rests, Horford can play the five.
This is a fantastic get for the Sixers, who are legit title contenders next season.