4:01pm: Asked by Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News if the report on Horford and the Mavericks is accurate, a league source replied, “Not really.” However, that source didn’t offer any further clarification, tweets Townsend.
1:40pm: Al Horford is expected to leave the Celtics for a new team in free agency, and according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, league sources consider the Mavericks the favorites to land the veteran big man.
As O’Connor writes, the Lakers and Clippers are also said to have interest in Horford, but they’ll likely be setting their sights on higher-end targets such as Kawhi Leonard. The Nets have also been cited as a potential suitor for Horford.
Dallas would be an intriguing landing spot for the 33-year-old center. The Mavericks have the cap flexibility necessary to make a competitive offer to Horford without compromising their ability to extend Dwight Powell or lock up Kristaps Porzingis to a long-term contract. Those three bigs would provide balance and versatility at both ends of the floor for the Mavs.
Horford will reportedly seek a four-year contract on the open market, and one report indicated that he may even be looking to surpass $100MM on his new deal. That’d be a significant investment for a player entering his mid-30s who battled some nagging health issues last season, but the Mavs have shown in the past that they’re not shy about committing big money to second-tier free agents. They signed Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes to four-year, maximum-salary contracts in 2015 and 2016, respectively.