The Celtics can’t really start planning their offseason until they know if Al Horford is picking up his $30.1MM option for next season, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Horford’s decision is due by June 18 and it will affect a lot of other areas in what could be a summer of change in Boston.
Horford’s choices are to either take the money, which is a hefty salary for a player about to turn 33, try his luck on the open market, or attempt to work out a longer deal with the Celtics that includes a smaller payment for next season. Forsberg notes that by opting in, Horford could make himself an attractive trade piece to help Boston match salaries in a deal for Anthony Davis or another star.
Even if the Celtics don’t get Davis and lose Kyrie Irving in free agency, Horford could be valuable to keep, Forsberg notes. He formed an effective combination with the team’s younger players during last year’s run to the conference finals.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- This will also be an important summer for Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown, who will be eligible for a rookie scale extension. Brown doesn’t have an agent, but he hopes the team will be open to talking about a long future together. “I’m 22 years old. I know I have a lot to learn,” he said. “I know the older guys on our team, I think they feel the same thing. They got a lot to learn, too. So, that’s a part of it; everybody growing.”
- With rumors swirling of Irving possibly teaming up with D’Angelo Russell in the Nets‘ backcourt, the man who coached them both in high school believes they can be successful together. Marc Berman of The New York Post talked to Kevin Boyle, who knows both players as well as anyone. “I 1,000 percent think that could work,” Boyle said. “D’Angelo knows Kyrie, likes him, respects him. That could work with both sides. Kyrie could help D’Angelo to that top-10, top-15 level. I could see that blending together nicely. Not everybody fits with everybody. I don’t know why in Boston the things didn’t fit [for Irving], but it could fit there.”
- Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is one win away from cashing in on a $500K bonus for reaching the NBA Finals, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. If he collects, it would add $1.25MM to the team’s luxury tax payment. Lowry would earn another $500K if the Raptors win the NBA title.