In a surprising development, Al Horford is expected to leave the Celtics to sign with a new team in free agency, as we relayed on Tuesday night. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski explains in his story on the situation, the gap between what Boston was willing to offer and what Horford is seeking on a long-term deal was too significant to bridge. The Celtics and Horford’s agent Jason Glushon aren’t expected to re-open talks, Woj adds.
According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter), there’s a belief in front office circles that Horford knows there will be a four-year offer worth $100MM+ waiting for him in free agency, which led to talks with the Celtics breaking down.
It will be fascinating to see if that sort of lucrative offer is actually on the table for a 33-year-old who battled nagging injuries last season. According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (via Twitter), a league source says the Nets are a team to keep a close eye on, given their cap room and Horford’s connection to head coach Kenny Atkinson.
However, Kyrie Irving is believed to be headed to Brooklyn as a free agent, and Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets that he would be “beyond surprised” if Horford teams up with Irving again after a disappointing season in Boston.
Here are a few more notes and rumors on 2019 free agency:
- While the Nets would love to pair Kevin Durant with Kyrie Irving in free agency, they have fallback options if they can’t land Durant, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. According to Lewis, it’s worth keeping an eye on unrestricted free agent Tobias Harris, restricted free agent Kristaps Porzingis, and trade candidate Danilo Gallinari as possible fits for Brooklyn.
- John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 identifies another free agent point guard target for the Suns, adding Ricky Rubio‘s name to a list that already included Darren Collison, Cory Joseph, and Patrick Beverley, among others. Rubio is expected to garner the most interest out of the players in that group, Kellan Olson of ArizonaSports.com notes.
- Veteran big man Jarnell Stokes, who appeared in 28 NBA games for the Grizzlies, Heat, and Nuggets, has committed to play with the Trail Blazers in Summer League action next month, reports Hoops Rumors’ own JD Shaw (via Twitter).
- Free agent guards Ben McLemore and Jaylen Morris recently worked out for the Rockets, tweets ESPN’s Jordan Schultz.