Al Horford tops the list of “signings we thought would be great but haven’t worked out.” The veteran big man is averaging 11.7 points per game but has a slightly below league average 51.7 true shooting percentage, and his game has taken a step back in rebounding, passing, and defense. Brett Brown removed him out of the starting lineup (until injuries to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid forced him back in).
Horford has been solid, but the Sixers expected more than that when they signed him to a four-year, $109 million contract last summer.
Horford is far from the Sixers only, or even biggest, problem. But Philadelphia might try to move Horford next summer to fill in one of their big needs — shooting — one executive told Jeff Zilget of the USA Today.
Though the Sixers did not try to move Horford at the trade deadline, that might be a possibility in the off-season – if they can send that contract to another team and get shooting in return – a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The challenge with trading Horford, who will be 34 this summer, is that he is owed $69 million over three seasons after this one (the final season is non-guaranteed, but the buyout goes up from the $14.5 million base if Horford’s team makes the finals or wins a championship). Not a lot of teams will want to pay him $27 million a season for the two seasons after this one.
Barring a surprise deep playoff run, the sense around the league is changes are coming to Philadelphia. Most likely in the form of a new coach, but also some roster changes. The Sixers need more shooting.
If they can trade Horford to get that shooting, it’s a win-win for Philly.