Celtics sign Al Horford to a 2-year extension

wade boggs chicken dinner

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He also left and got paid in his last deal. And he seemed miserable with two other franchises.
And lest we forget, he didn't leave the Cs for what was rumoured to be about $20M guaranteed over 4 years ($97.5M from PHI to $80M-ish from BOS). I wonder if he just completely misjudged how good JT and JB were going to be.

Funny, re-reading through some articles, Al talked about how the Cs as constructed in 2019-20 wasn't going to be able to co-exist. And then he decided to move to a team with Embiid and Simmons and who had just ran off Butler.

When Al's done playing, he might not want to become a GM . . . . :)
 

The Mort Report

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Love this. I have been wondering for a couple weeks now what it would take, and I figured the floor was 2 years, $30 mil if he gave us a discount. It's so low it feels more like Brad went to him asking just to gauge what it might take with no intention of signing him now, and Al gave him these numbers and Brad fell over himself to get that contract in front of him
 

HomeRunBaker

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And lest we forget, he didn't leave the Cs for what was rumoured to be about $20M guaranteed over 4 years ($97.5M from PHI to $80M-ish from BOS). I wonder if he just completely misjudged how good JT and JB were going to be.

Funny, re-reading through some articles, Al talked about how the Cs as constructed in 2019-20 wasn't going to be able to co-exist. And then he decided to move to a team with Embiid and Simmons and who had just ran off Butler.

When Al's done playing, he might not want to become a GM . . . . :)
Leaving was an excellent business decision while he still had market value. I don’t hold that against him at all.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Leaving was an excellent business decision while he still had market value. I don’t hold that against him at all.
Getting $97.5M guaranteed might have been a decent business decision. Going to PHI was probably not objectively a great business or basketball decision (although I understand that a player of Al's caliber probably thinks he can just about anything work).

And though it turned out okay in the end, I can only wonder what the Cs would have been like if Al re-signed here.
 

Euclis20

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I believe Al also wanted to spend more time at power forward (as opposed to center), which he had played for almost his entire career. As he got slower and the league got smaller, center became his more natural position, but one way for him to keep playing the 4 was to play next to Embiid. That option didn't exist so much in Boston, and clearly that's not a factor anymore.
 

snowmanny

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Not to sidetrack too much, but this is one of my abiding pet sports convictions: that "rebuild GM" and "get-over-the-hump GM" are two different animals with different temperaments, which is one of the reasons why it's so hard for teams across all sports to sustain improvement over long periods of time. The rebuild GM is basically a dick who wants to win every deal, tries to accurately assess the value of every asset, and specializes in stockpiling as much overall equity as possible. The "get-over-the-hump GM" is better attuned to team dynamics and is willing to lose a deal or overpay for someone who contributes to the overall health of the system. Often, teams that reach the championship level are ones that (perhaps accidentally) managed to move from the first GM type to the second at the right time (think early 2000 Sox segueing from Duquette to Epstein)
You laid that out well; gives me something to consider.

Also, I’ve enjoyed Al part 2 and how much he enjoys being on the Celtics. Really glad to have him around a bit more.
 

phineas gage

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Made me try to think of some Celtics that had successful second acts with the team. The best I could think of was Don Chaney, but that was easy because I was a big fan of the Duck. I'm sure there are others I am missing.
 

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Made me try to think of some Celtics that had successful second acts with the team. The best I could think of was Don Chaney, but that was easy because I was a big fan of the Duck. I'm sure there are others I am missing.
58347
 

HomeRunBaker

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Made me try to think of some Celtics that had successful second acts with the team. The best I could think of was Don Chaney, but that was easy because I was a big fan of the Duck. I'm sure there are others I am missing.
That Joe Johnson iso jumper was a nice second act.
 

mikeford

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Sure, I think it makes sense for him. But he did spurn the Cs once for more money. And he still could have gotten more than this from the Cs in the offseason if he waited.

Not that I'm complaining. I just think he gave up a good amount to stay. And that says a lot about the culture with his teammates, management, and honestly probably says a lot about Joe as well.
I think it also says a lot about what his half a season in Sibera (OKC) taught him.
 

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And lest we forget, he didn't leave the Cs for what was rumoured to be about $20M guaranteed over 4 years ($97.5M from PHI to $80M-ish from BOS). I wonder if he just completely misjudged how good JT and JB were going to be.

Funny, re-reading through some articles, Al talked about how the Cs as constructed in 2019-20 wasn't going to be able to co-exist. And then he decided to move to a team with Embiid and Simmons and who had just ran off Butler.

When Al's done playing, he might not want to become a GM . . . . :)
Au contraire, I believe that he had good GM instincts. He said to himself “ A basketball team with Kyrie will not co-exist.” And left. It was only when his leaving was already in process that he found out that Kyrie was taking his ass(etts) to Brooklyn.
 

Imbricus

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This is great news. I would've gone 2/$30m or 2/$32m, then started to balk at more than that. No doubt this is team friendly.

As far as Brad's genius here: I think it started last year, during the playoffs, when Brad told Al, "We're guaranteeing that final year of your contract." Nice goodwill gesture, considering what Al contributed during that playoff run. So that's sowing some good feelings.

Then his timing: the Celtics are 18-4 right now. I don't know what the rest of the season looks like, but not sure they can beat a better than .800 winning percentage. This timing is great. Al wants a ring, maybe two (three?). So he's more willing to take a discount to play for a team that's shown itself to be among the top two or three in the league. Earlier today, I was musing: What does this contract look like if the Celts are 11-11 right now? Maybe he holds out for a little more? Hmm ...

Anyway, I think Al's going to age like Kareem. He could be playing at the age of 40 or 41. This is a great deal.
 

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This also helps a bit with the (I believe small) risk Grant gets an offer too big to match; they still don't have a real replacement for Grant, but the overall big depth is a lot stronger looking forward
 

DGreenwood

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The Athletic is reporting that it's 2 years $19.5 million with a $500,000 trade kicker.

The Celtics signed center Al Horford to a contract extension, the team announced Thursday. Horford’s fully guaranteed two-year extension is worth a total of $19.5 million, according to sources familiar with the contract details. Here’s what you need to know:
  • The deal takes the 36-year-old through the 2024-25 season with Boston; Horford turns 39 in June 2025.
  • Horford will receive $10 million next season and $9.5 million in the 2024-25 season. He has a trade bonus for the lesser of 15 percent or $500,000.
 

TripleOT

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Al and Grant Williams make $30 million combined this season. This team friendly extension will allow the Celtics to pay the same the next two seasons.

AL, Grant, and TL for $41 million combined is a bargain (assuming Rob can stay on the court).
 

HomeRunBaker

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And his time in Phiily. I think that OKC was a snap after Philadelphia.
Philly - Playing out of position with no role in the Sixers scheme.
OKC - Sent home for half the season on paid leave while being with family.

Yeah, OKC a snap and a half for sure.
 

Jimbodandy

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Philly - Playing out of position with no role in the Sixers scheme.
OKC - Sent home for half the season on paid leave while being with family.

Yeah, OKC a snap and a half for sure.
Don't forget having to share a locker room with Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler at the same time. That couldn't have been a normal environment.
 

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This is great news. I would've gone 2/$30m or 2/$32m, then started to balk at more than that. No doubt this is team friendly.

As far as Brad's genius here: I think it started last year, during the playoffs, when Brad told Al, "We're guaranteeing that final year of your contract." Nice goodwill gesture, considering what Al contributed during that playoff run. So that's sowing some good feelings.

Then his timing: the Celtics are 18-4 right now. I don't know what the rest of the season looks like, but not sure they can beat a better than .800 winning percentage. This timing is great. Al wants a ring, maybe two (three?). So he's more willing to take a discount to play for a team that's shown itself to be among the top two or three in the league. Earlier today, I was musing: What does this contract look like if the Celts are 11-11 right now? Maybe he holds out for a little more? Hmm ...

Anyway, I think Al's going to age like Kareem. He could be playing at the age of 40 or 41. This is a great deal.
Interesting thought there. Without looking up the existing contract, my memory says that that guarantee was wroth about $10-12M. So maybe Brad said something like "look, I'll guarantee the full salary for this year, as long as you will sign a contract next year that is team friendly. Otherwise, I'll roll the dice and maybe you are trade fodder at the deadline . . . . But let's have a handshake agreement on an extension, -- let's say 2 years for $20M -- and you are looking at playing these last 3 years for $46M."
 

benhogan

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Interesting thought there. Without looking up the existing contract, my memory says that that guarantee was wroth about $10-12M. So maybe Brad said something like "look, I'll guarantee the full salary for this year, as long as you will sign a contract next year that is team friendly. Otherwise, I'll roll the dice and maybe you are trade fodder at the deadline . . . . But let's have a handshake agreement on an extension, -- let's say 2 years for $20M -- and you are looking at playing these last 3 years for $46M."
I wouldn't put it past Al's agent calling Brad last spring and implying such.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Don't forget having to share a locker room with Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler at the same time. That couldn't have been a normal environment.
Butler wasn't on that team. Simmons and Embiid had already driven him off to MIA.

Looking back on that team, it's interesting that the two things Horford was really criticized for during this time in PHI - not being able to space the floor with his shooting and not being able to guard on the perimeter - are now his calling cards on the Cs. Anyone remember that playoff series against the Cs where Al looked old and slow while the Cs were blowing past him?
 

lexrageorge

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Butler wasn't on that team. Simmons and Embiid had already driven him off to MIA.

Looking back on that team, it's interesting that the two things Horford was really criticized for during this time in PHI - not being able to space the floor with his shooting and not being able to guard on the perimeter - are now his calling cards on the Cs. Anyone remember that playoff series against the Cs where Al looked old and slow while the Cs were blowing past him?
Embiid is clearly an excellent interior defender. However, the difference is that Philly's wing defenders at that time were nowhere close to the level of defensive ability of Tatum, Brown, and Smart. Bottom line is that Horford's job on the defensive end is much easier now.
 

Jimbodandy

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Butler wasn't on that team. Simmons and Embiid had already driven him off to MIA.

Looking back on that team, it's interesting that the two things Horford was really criticized for during this time in PHI - not being able to space the floor with his shooting and not being able to guard on the perimeter - are now his calling cards on the Cs. Anyone remember that playoff series against the Cs where Al looked old and slow while the Cs were blowing past him?
Forgot that, thanks.

I still think that it was more of a cultural fit issue than anything. Al got his bag, which is great, but he never really fit there. I'm not sure what the hell their defensive system was, if any.
 

DavidTai

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Butler wasn't on that team. Simmons and Embiid had already driven him off to MIA.
I got the impression that Embiid wanted Butler, Simmons didn't, and Simmons won that one.

Butler left the impression that Embiid wasn't a problem, but Simmons was.

Maybe if Simmons had been the one dumped...

Good god, management -really- bungled that off season in hindsight.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Don't forget having to share a locker room with Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler at the same time. That couldn't have been a normal environment.
All the while looking over your shoulder for the inevitable Embiid prank. Tough spot for a guy in his mid-30’s. :)
 

HomeRunBaker

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Butler wasn't on that team. Simmons and Embiid had already driven him off to MIA.

Looking back on that team, it's interesting that the two things Horford was really criticized for during this time in PHI - not being able to space the floor with his shooting and not being able to guard on the perimeter - are now his calling cards on the Cs. Anyone remember that playoff series against the Cs where Al looked old and slow while the Cs were blowing past him?
I still feel if you’re the opponent hunting a Horford switch to defend the perimeter is a good spot. He’s maybe more acclimated to it now after having been exposed to it for the first time in his career his first time around.
 

astrozombie

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Big fan of this deal. I really hope this team wins it all this year - fun to watch, they seem to enjoy playing with each other, etc.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I got the impression that Embiid wanted Butler, Simmons didn't, and Simmons won that one.

Butler left the impression that Embiid wasn't a problem, but Simmons was.

Maybe if Simmons had been the one dumped...

Good god, management -really- bungled that off season in hindsight.
Not sure where Embiid ended up but pretty sure you are correct that Simmons didn't want anything to do with him. At least that's the impression that Butler gave when he went on Reddick's podcast.

And then there's this:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6L3qmInqS0
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I still feel if you’re the opponent hunting a Horford switch to defend the perimeter is a good spot. He’s maybe more acclimated to it now after having been exposed to it for the first time in his career his first time around.
I'm sure opponents feel that way but I don't know if I agree with that. Al held up pretty well when he was isolated last year after BOS switched TL to free safety.

Don't know how people feel about this stat but NBA.com has numbers on isolation here: https://www.nba.com/stats/players/isolation?SeasonType=Regular Season&SeasonYear=2021-22&TypeGrouping=defensive&dir=D&sort=PERCENTILE -

According to this list, Horford had a score% = 34.5% in the 177 possessions he was isolated on defense. That's in the 80th percentile. However, the only person who was ranked higher (by percentile) and who guarded 100 or more isolation possessions was Bam at 33.0% (100 possessions). If you lower the threshold to 75, you get Mason Plumlee (80 possessions; score% = 30.0); Siakam (76 possessions; score% = 31.6); Wendell Carter (98 and 28.6); and JJJ (80 & 26.3).

Pretty good company.

Some interesting facts from this list:
  • Schroder had the second lowest score% (14.7) on 34 possessions. Paul George was first (21 & 9.5)
  • Some weird names in this list are Ingles at 3rd on 34 possessions, CJ McCollum at 8th.
  • Romeo was 9th (27 & 25.9), folllowed by Derrick White (43 and 20.9)
  • Tatum was in the 70th percentile; JB was in the 40th. Frankly it looks like if there's anyone on BOS who should be isolated, it should be JB.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Fully admitting that I don't know anything about the X's and O's of basketball, my observation is that as a coach, Stevens demonstrated what I would consider to be the perfect skill set for a rebuilding GM. He has that famous Bill Belichick ability to understand what a player can and can't do, and put them in a position to succeed. Do you guys remember some of those early teams he took to the playoffs?

If anything I've been shocked that Coach Brad has been able to demonstrate the ability to bring along youngsters, develop talent AND the killer instinct to complete the team. The guy is incredible. Lest we forget that Danny also built a championship winning team, tore it apart, and built the structure for the Next Great Celtic Team. So I think we've been blessed with consecutive GMs that can succeed in both rebuild and championship seeking settings.

Edit: Also worth a reminder that Killer Instinct Brad came from college, where he built a program up from a whatever to a championship level team. He was tasked with bringing in talent from the HS and prep school ranks, worked with college kids on a daily basis, was tasked with helping these kids progress from fresh meat to NBA caliber... I can't think of better experience for the "rebuilding phase" GM.
I think there were some obvious differences between Ainge and Brad in terms of buying the groceries. When Stevens became GM, he built around his stars in the way he would have wanted when he was the coach, which was different from how Ainge built around the stars. And Brad has hired coaches who he thinks are on the same page with that.

The other big difference is that Brad thinks of contract value differently. He's willing to sign players with mid-level contracts knowing he can move them later.
Made me try to think of some Celtics that had successful second acts with the team. The best I could think of was Don Chaney, but that was easy because I was a big fan of the Duck. I'm sure there are others I am missing.
Daniel. Theis. :D

Antoine Walker had a short second act in 2004-05. Going back to the Bird era, I can't really think of anyone else.

Great username BTW.
 

phineas gage

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Always one of the more popular classroom anecdotes...

Only other repeat from my young fan era that comes to mind is Kevin Stacom, who returned for one year in 1979, but that was hardly a notable or triumphant event.

edit: I guess M.L. is a returner too, but not in the same way, and not in a good way.
 
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benhogan

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moving this over to here, since Horford is struggling to defend the rim on defense

There's nights when Al just loses a step. I don't know what it is -- the normal variance in conditioning and fitness and quickness that comes with the long season, or that he's 36. I think as you get older, obviously the the periods where he looks spry will be shorter, and the periods where he looks like a 36 year-old will become longer.

Totally agree on TL. They need his switchability and activity out there. But I think rather than worrying about who starts, they're trying to close halfs and games with Rob out there. I don't know if there's an official minutes limit, but he hasn't played more than 22 minutes so far, so maybe the calculus is get those minutes in crunch time rather than at the beginning.
Incessantly playing Horford at the 5 is wearing him down to a nub ;). This has been the case for the last 5 seasons. Strictly playing NBA Center for 30+mpg is absolutely brutal. It's why players like Al and AD have repeatedly expressed their preference to playing the 4 (sWing). Wrestling BIGs at the dunkers' spot and try to defend the rim against WINGs as they attack the rim with reckless abandon is taxing on a 36yr-year-old Al (like it was when he was 32)

I just come back to how dominant their starting 5 was last season. The proof is there. The Celtic's defense is night/day from last season. Playing Al/TL together lets everyone else guard smaller.

I hope CoachJoe is just easing TL into play with a minutes restriction with the idea of eventually playing TL/AH more

The downside is they would have to use Luke or acquire a defense first 5 to play a consistent 10-12mpg (reducing Hauser mins)

Their 2nd unit would be Brogdon, White, Grant, BIG/Luke, + a JAY.

Hauser would only play if one of the Top9 were out.
PP would really struggle to see any minutes but could be part of a BIG trade package
 

Fishy1

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moving this over to here, since Horford is struggling to defend the rim on defense


Incessantly playing Horford at the 5 is wearing him down to a nub ;). This has been the case for the last 5 seasons. Strictly playing NBA Center for 30+mpg is absolutely brutal. It's why players like Al and AD have repeatedly expressed their preference to playing the 4 (sWing). Wrestling BIGs at the dunkers' spot and try to defend the rim against WINGs as they attack the rim with reckless abandon is taxing on a 36yr-year-old Al (like it was when he was 32)

I just come back to how dominant their starting 5 was last season. The proof is there. The Celtic's defense is night/day from last season. Playing Al/TL together lets everyone else guard smaller.

I hope CoachJoe is just easing TL into play with a minutes restriction with the idea of eventually playing TL/AH more

The downside is they would have to use Luke or acquire a defense first 5 to play a consistent 10-12mpg (reducing Hauser mins)

Their 2nd unit would be Brogdon, White, Grant, BIG/Luke, + a JAY.

Hauser would only play if one of the Top9 were out.
PP would really struggle to see any minutes but could be part of a BIG trade package
Yeah, I don't disagree.

As a fan of the Unikorn, I don't think playing Kornet for ten minutes a night would be a bad idea, I'm just not so sure where the minutes would come from at this juncture. I think they'd probably still want Hauser out there for the spacing. I'd be all for playing Al 20-25 minutes a night to keep him fresh, but I'm not sure Al would go for that.
 

benhogan

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Yeah, I don't disagree.

As a fan of the Unikorn, I don't think playing Kornet for ten minutes a night would be a bad idea, I'm just not so sure where the minutes would come from at this juncture. I think they'd probably still want Hauser out there for the spacing. I'd be all for playing Al 20-25 minutes a night to keep him fresh, but I'm not sure Al would go for that.
Agree. Luke was playable when given consistent minutes (a poor man's Poeltl)

This is where I expect/hope CJM goes with minutes:
TL/Al/Grant/Luke (& Tatum) share 96 mpg at the 4/5
partial-Tatum/Brown/Brogdon/Smart/White share 144mpg at the 1/2/3 (w/Tatum playing the 4 when going small)

Hauser fills in when one of the TOP9 are out, load managed, banged up, in foul trouble, blowouts, etc (which occurs nightly in the regular season)

Being conservative with Horford's regular season games played/mpg probably wouldn't bother him one whit. As long as CJM mostly plays him at the 4, which is where Al has been efficient and what he has wanted for numerous seasons.
 

benhogan

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Here’s the number of big men that take as many or more threes than Al Horford and make a higher percentage: 0. The only bigs in the top-30 of 3-point field goals per game that shoot over than 40% from 3 are Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, and Al Horford. Al’s 42.2% tops them all, oh, and he’s 6th among centers in attempts per game, more than Olynyk.
Among bigs that have played 20 or more games, opponent field goal percentage drops 5.7% when Horford is defending. That’s 6th among centers, and he contests the highest number of field goals among those 6.


https://www.celticsblog.com/2023/2/17/23602975/first-to-the-floor-awards-at-all-star-break-boston-celtics
 

lovegtm

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Here’s the number of big men that take as many or more threes than Al Horford and make a higher percentage: 0. The only bigs in the top-30 of 3-point field goals per game that shoot over than 40% from 3 are Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, and Al Horford. Al’s 42.2% tops them all, oh, and he’s 6th among centers in attempts per game, more than Olynyk.
Among bigs that have played 20 or more games, opponent field goal percentage drops 5.7% when Horford is defending. That’s 6th among centers, and he contests the highest number of field goals among those 6.


https://www.celticsblog.com/2023/2/17/23602975/first-to-the-floor-awards-at-all-star-break-boston-celtics
Horford was an extremely elite midrange shooter in the pre-3 part of his career, so it's not surprising he's become an extremely elite 3-point shooter after adjusting to the distance over the years.

I don't see a reason this part of his game will decline significantly during his next deal.
 

Jimbodandy

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Horford was an extremely elite midrange shooter in the pre-3 part of his career, so it's not surprising he's become an extremely elite 3-point shooter after adjusting to the distance over the years.

I don't see a reason this part of his game will decline significantly during his next deal.
Agreed. It's reason for bullishness. As long as he maintains the agility to set screens and pop off of them, he'll be a useful offensive player. He has good vision and brains as well.
 

bigq

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PBS trading a broken down Kemba for Horford was a masterstroke. Al's 3P form may be unorthodox but he is drilling them at 45% this season which is good for 2nd best in the NBA and he has a career high TS% of .634. Please get this guy a ring.
 

TripleOT

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.675 percent of Horford’s FGAs have been from three this season.
.003 percent of Horford’s FGAs were from three his first five seasons in the league.