Celtics Rumors: Horford, Ainge, Kyrie, Rozier, Herro

If Al Horford opts out of his contract this month, he’s probably unlikely to top his $30MM+ player-option salary on the open market, but he should be able to top that total figure on a multiyear deal. That’s a scenario that intrigues the Celtics.

Speaking today to reporters, including Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald, C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that restructuring Horford’s contract into a longer, more cap-friendly deal is a “priority” for the club this summer.

NBA rules don’t technically allow teams to restructure contracts to reduce cap hits in the same way that NFL franchises can. But if Horford turns down his player option, he and the Celtics could essentially start from scratch on a new deal — it wouldn’t be a restructuring so much as a brand new contract. If the C’s are able to negotiate a starting salary in the range of, say, $20-25MM, it would create some added cap flexibility for the coming offseason.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Despite suffering a mild heart attack last month, Ainge said he’s feeling good and will continue to lead the Celtics going forward, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “My role is not going to change,” Ainge said.
  • We passed along some of Ainge’s comments on Kyrie Irving in an earlier story, but Boston’s president of basketball operations offered a few more observations on the All-Star point guard. As Himmelsbach relays, Ainge said he had no regrets about the risk the Celtics took when they acquired Irving in 2017, and dismissed the idea that Kyrie was largely to blame for the club’s struggles in 2018/19. “We had a lot of reasons the team did not succeed this year,” Ainge said. “Kyrie deserves his share of the blame, but not any more than anybody else. There’s a lot of guys that didn’t handle things the right way and didn’t make the sacrifices that needed to be done for the benefit of the team. So I think that they’re all going to learn from it, including Kyrie.”
  • Ainge praised restricted-free-agent-to-be Terry Rozier, despite the fact that Rozier has publicly griped about the role he had with the Celtics this season. “I think that if Terry was in the right circumstance and the right role, I think he would love playing in Boston,” Ainge said, per Himmelsbach.
  • Ainge also acknowledged that the Celtics will consider draft-pick trades and told reporters that Brad Stevens continues to meet with candidates to replace assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry, according to Murphy and Himmelsbach.
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston tweets that the Celtics worked out Kevin Porter Jr. (USC), Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Tyler Herro (Kentucky), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (VA Tech), and Skyler Flatten (South Dakota State) on Tuesday. Herro made a strong impression, per Aaron Torres of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
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8 thoughts on “Celtics Rumors: Horford, Ainge, Kyrie, Rozier, Herro

  1. In the current environment, guys like Horford (made well over 100 mm in his career, still playing at a near AS level, but too old to warrant a huge long term contract) would do better $$ wise (and in terms of control over his last years) going year to year. I think guys fall victim to valuing contracts as agents and peers do, the total guaranteed. After the career he’s had, why take less than he’s worth or under contract for simply to be possibly overpaid in future years, or, if injured, getting a buyout (an insurance policy works just as well), or getting the privilege of being a matching contract in a deal that has nothing to do with him.

    If he wants to help the team out (tax-wise), that’s a different matter. But if they don’t approach him, just play it out.

  2. knickscavsfan

    Whatever contract that Horford could get if he opted out would likely be a 1 or 2 year deal. That would likely be available to him if he waiting until next year too. I would take the $30 mil and worry about the next contract when next season is over.

    • Luke Adams

      If the Celtics think they can get him to take a pay cut, I’d be shocked if they’re not willing to offer him three years.

    • Jason Lancaster

      I think Horford could get a 3 year, $25-30 million per year deal on in a good market, just like Milsap did a couple of years ago. The last year would be a team option, but there are a lot of teams that would love to have him.

      The trouble is, there’s not as many teams with space as there was when Milsap signed. But still, Horford is damn good and worth a lot.

      • x%sure

        So no 3/83 then, okay.

        3/65 = 1/30 + 2/32 a year later (apx). Boston might be at the edge of injury risk at 3/65. I guess Horford could be a fulltime center if slowed down by injury. This is a big year to have some spending money, and a new 3/65 saves $8-9MM for Boston.

        But if Horford thinks he can do better than 16 per year next year, then take the 30.

    • Havlicek stole the ball

      He’s 33, imagine a torn ACL or achilles at 34… basically his career is done. Signing sonething like 60M for 3 years would give him sone security I guess

      • Security??? What you talking about, Big Al has made 132MM in his career, just in salary… I mean if he needs an extra few MM’s to be secure, he ain’t as smart as I know he is.
        He should take the money this year & take it year by year after, controlling your destiny & where you play is more important than a few extra bucks, right?

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