Horford to Boston!

BigSoxFan

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Pretty remarkable how Horford's stats from the past 2 seasons are practically identical with the exception that he added 3 point range this past season. You can basically pencil him in for 15/8 the next few seasons. Just an incredibly reliable player.
 

HomeRunBaker

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You talking about 4 times all-star Raef?
Young Raef was a high flyer who had to reinvent his game as a 3-point shooter when he lost his athleticism in his late 20's. I see Horford making this same transition except he is physically stronger, a better passer, utilizes angles better, and can still defend the interior unlike the Celtics version of Raef.
 

Cellar-Door

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Horford is 30 years old. He missed the majority of two of the past five seasons due to injury. He earns enough to interfere with the C's ability to lure a marquee free agent and retain its current core when they start getting expensive in two years (by which point Horford is likely to be useless)

This is a terrible, terrible deal, unless there is another shoe to drop. (Obviously, if signing Horford means KD signs a long-term deal here, then you'd do that in a cocaine heartbeat.)
This is just weird to me.

HE IS A MARQUEE FREE AGENT!

He's the second best available player in this FA class (Lebron isn't available), he's been an All-Star the last two years, and he's one of the 5 best players at his position... which just happens to be the Celtics weakest position.
He'll be 33 when this deal expires, so age is unlikely to make a huge difference.
He missed two years with injuries that aren't the kind that permanently degrade performance (back, knee etc.)
He played 159 of 164 games the last two years.

Also why the hell would you not sign Al Horford because in 2 years you might need to re-sign Avery Bradley? Avery Bradley is almost certainly never going to be the player Horford is.


Edit- The Celtics have a really great window right now where they have most of their talent locked into low cost deals, this is the time to be signing top players like Horford to big deals.
I really like Crowder/Bradley/IT, but all of them are most valuable because of their current deals, and that we have all of them together, their next deals likely will make them overpaid solid but not elite talent.
Also the Celtics are a 50 win team, they aren't in a teardown rebuild like the 76ers where they want to punt seasons for possible future moves, this move alone makes them a real contender for the ECF (then who knows what happens injuries etc.), and it sets the stage for another move (Durant, a trade, whatever) that can make them title contenders.
 

nighthob

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Not that it even matters as Boston can go over the cap to sign its own guys.
 

Koufax

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Most of you guys play chess while I play checkers in the forum and Maufman in most contexts is the most level-headed guy on this site, but wow I couldn't disagree with him more on this one. Horford is not KG, he is not going to get us to the promised land, but he's by far the best free agent signing in memory and that by itself gives the franchise credibility it never had. He is a very good player in, as was said upthread, a position of weakness for the team, and the Celtics have money to burn at a time when everyone is lighting bonfires with cash. I was as aware as anyone of the degree to which Horford was underwhelming in the playoffs, but he will definitely upgrade the C's roster and he fits into the Stevens/Ainge mold of team play much better than Howard. This was a good move. It reminds me of the trade for Ray Allen. Let's hope that the climax is yet to come but even if they can't land KD this year they are a better team now and going forward for having made this deal.
 

zenter

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But... Nobody is saying he's KG. He is a major upgrade down low with 3-pt range, extracted from a home team he wanted to go back to.

The Ray Allen comparison is apt, and was also made previously. He's a star other stars (cough KD cough) want to play with. Plus his signing makes a rival worse while making the Cs better.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Horford is 30 years old. He missed the majority of two of the past five seasons due to injury. He earns enough to interfere with the C's ability to lure a marquee free agent and retain its current core when they start getting expensive in two years (by which point Horford is likely to be useless)

This is a terrible, terrible deal, unless there is another shoe to drop. (Obviously, if signing Horford means KD signs a long-term deal here, then you'd do that in a cocaine heartbeat.)
I really don't know where to begin with this post and I agree with others that you are one of the most level-headed and thoughtful posters on this entire board. However I will keep it simple. The Celtics have just signed a marquee free agent, something many who follow the NBA would have thought impossible just a few years ago. And the beauty is that it only costs them money, meaning they still have draft and player assets to acquire more premium talent.

Regarding the Celtics core, if this team never has elite talent, their retention is essentially irrelevant.

I simply cannot agree that this is a terrible deal, even if Durant doesn't follow. I mean, the Boston Celtics attracted a top tier free agent today when he could have chosen to play many other places with bigger stars already onboard or better weather or a more favorable tax situation or whatever. It means other stars may follow, even beyond Kevin Durant.
 

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Perhaps I am giving Horford's poor playoff performance too much weight (though his PER was down this season too). Also, I've never believed that free agents wouldn't come to Boston if we offered them a chance to win; new ownership and the KG/Pierce/Allen era exorcised those demons once and for all.

I'm certainly not the only person whose [emoji173]️ for this deal depends on it enabling them to add a star player; in fact, you seem to be in that camp to some degree. Neither of us thinks KD is likely to come here, at least not now. In terms of attracting a star (KD or someone else) a year from now, I think the C's are a lot better off in that department coming off another 45-win season with the ability to hand out two max deals than they are coming off a 50-win season with Horford under contract for 2-3 more seasons -- even leaving aside the possibility that Horford has already entered the decline phase of his career and that this deal looks bad a year from now, even with the higher cap.

Edit: Meant to quote @DeJesus Built My Hotrod above, though I guess I was responding to a couple posts, not just his.
 

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My favorite part about this deal is that it destroys the "Big FA's won't come to Boston" narrative. Even if Horford is a colossal bust, he will have changed the franchise forever.
 

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I like the signing even in a vacuum. The celts last year were one of the few times in my life that I've watched basketball because it was fun, I honestly had zero expectations for winning the title, it was just fun.

Horford only adds to that. He's an incredible player who can slot right in and compliment the team from last year.
 

johnmd20

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My favorite part about this deal is that it destroys the "Big FA's won't come to Boston" narrative. Even if Horford is a colossal bust, he will have changed the franchise forever.
This is a little bit over the top. Free agents will come to Boston if it gives them a chance to win. They haven't had the team to entice big free agents since the KD, Pierce era. But now, with a great coach and some very attractive draft picks, they do. The result: They locked in Horford.

I am with Mauf, tho. I think Al's best years are behind him. But it's still a solid 4 year signing. It's short enough where you don't have to worry about the guy aging too fast, because he'll be 34 when this contract is done.
 

RetractableRoof

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This is a little bit over the top. Free agents will come to Boston if it gives them a chance to win. They haven't had the team to entice big free agents since the KD, Pierce era. But now, with a great coach and some very attractive draft picks, they do. The result: They locked in Horford.

I am with Mauf, tho. I think Al's best years are behind him. But it's still a solid 4 year signing. It's short enough where you don't have to worry about the guy aging too fast, because he'll be 34 when this contract is done.
I'm fine with this sentiment, but I ask the question of the naysayers: is he significantly better than what we had/have at the position? My answer is yes, even in his decline. He appears to be a good fit scheme-wise. He seems to have a decent demeanor. I don't see him as a negative in any direction (except a roster slot if he decays rapidly). I think his skill set doesn't rely on pure athleticism so I don't see a rapid decay in his future. There was no one available who was going to improve the team positionally that wasn't going to require this kind of money. I contrast this signing with the possibility of an Okafor, and I have to say I prefer this deal, at this length.

His presence also means I won't have to worry if Sullinger wants to be a professional athlete or professional eater. That isn't a hypothetical concern on my part.
 

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Until a max free agent actually left money on the table to sign with the Celtics, it wasn't credible to use "we can attract other stars" as a selling point when courting FAs. Horford just gave the FO instant credibility in all future negotiations. The biggest selling point in the NBA is that stars attract other stars and now the Celtics have one with gravity and they didn't have to sell assets to do it - in fact, they'll probably add assets in S&T for Sullinger.

Plan A is obviously sign Durant but if they miss out they're now big favorites to sign Hayward next summer and that's not a bad plan B; either way, they'll still have assets to trade for another star next offseason and can blow past the cap with Bird Rights to sign their own guys when they're up.
 

Manzivino

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Advanced stats in basketball are obviously questionable but they don't show much of a decline in Horford's regular season. His PER is down but his offensive win shares was in line with what he's been since his first injury, he had the best defensive win shares of his career, third best overall win shares. He had the best OBPM and DBPM since his first injury as well.

From the eye test, he didn't look good in the postseason but his regular season was really strong. He's a perfect 4/5 for today's NBA. He can score from the 3-point line in, he's strong defensively, he's a great passer, and he runs the floor. He doesn't rely on fast twitch athleticism so he shouldn't fall off a cliff even as he declines.
 

jmm57

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I don't get into anything that's not on basketball reference for NBA stats, so maybe I am off, but over the past 2 seasons AL Horford and Jimmy Butler woukd appear to fall into the same tier of player. Butler has been a bit better and has more upside going forward because of his age and the possibility he takes the next step. But Horford looks like a much bigger upgrade over whoever (KO?) than Butler would have been over Crowder/Bradley. Plus you keep the picks. I much prefer this signing to something like Bradley or Crowder + 3 + other picks for Butler. I'm kind of surprised Cs fans aren't more excited by this move.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Perhaps I am giving Horford's poor playoff performance too much weight (though his PER was down this season too). Also, I've never believed that free agents wouldn't come to Boston if we offered them a chance to win; new ownership and the KG/Pierce/Allen era exorcised those demons once and for all.

I'm certainly not the only person whose [emoji173]️ for this deal depends on it enabling them to add a star player; in fact, you seem to be in that camp to some degree. Neither of us thinks KD is likely to come here, at least not now. In terms of attracting a star (KD or someone else) a year from now, I think the C's are a lot better off in that department coming off another 45-win season with the ability to hand out two max deals than they are coming off a 50-win season with Horford under contract for 2-3 more seasons -- even leaving aside the possibility that Horford has already entered the decline phase of his career and that this deal looks bad a year from now, even with the higher cap.
I understand this post and while I've not looked at next year's crop, I'm happy with this signing. Basically, the way the NBA is structured right now, virtually every max player is going to outperform his contract - there is a monetary redistribution going on from max players and rookies to non-max players as this 538 article shows.

I don't know if DA was aware of this but having lots of talent on rookie deals and signing top-flight players to max deals is the sweet spot of the NBA salary cap deals. It's the signing of the Mozgovs to $64M where teams are going to get less value (although if they don't have access to rookie deals or max talent, they have nowhere else to spend their money).

Also, Horford appears to have enough respect around the league to be a guy with whom other stars want to play.

Horford is going to outperform his contract. He will be able to help attract other stars. Other than that, what else do we need from a FA signing?
 

DannyDarwinism

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Perhaps I am giving Horford's poor playoff performance too much weight (though his PER was down this season too).
His career average PER is 19.1, last year he was at 19.4. In Win Shares/48 (another flawed metric, perhaps), he was at .172 last year, above his career average of .159. For RPM, he was at 2.97, while in 2015 he was 2.14 and 2014 he was 1.5. The biggest difference in his game last year was the reductions in his rebounding rate and free throw rate, and relatedly, the significant increase in 3PT attempts, so offensively his game is moving away from the basket. His game is evolving with his age, sure, but he's still an excellent passer from the elbow in the half court, or from the outlet to get the break started; he doesn't turn the ball over, he's a smart, versatile offense player, and he's a solid rebounder who can protect the rim. He's a very good complimentary player who positively impacts the game without dominating the ball, which is why a guy like KD wants to play with him. There's some injury risk, and some risk that he falls off a cliff, but in the more likely scenario where he gradually tapers off last year's excellent production, this contract isn't nearly the albatross you seem to think it is.
 

Montana Fan

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The Horford deal looks so good in comparison to many other FA signings this offseason. I would a 1000 times rather sign Horford at the max for 4 years versus 3 years of Dwight Howard for $70 mil. Add to that that he fits the Celts/Stevens' style of play and the fit looks very good. I def agree that Mauf's a solid poster but am going to hafta side with Ainge/Stevens in this case.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Sure, but the Celtics can do everything right with KD and he can go elsewhere...
Odds are that will happen. What I think is good about the approach Ainge/Celts have taken is they have multiple ways to make this work: they have three potential top picks to get a star (with one having been taken now); they have cap space; they have young tradeable assets if a Harden or Cousins becomes available. All they need to do is get it right once among the 4-5 chances that will come up next couple years. It may not, but they've given themselves a lot of opportunities relative to what most teams get in the NBA
 

HomeRunBaker

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I understand this post and while I've not looked at next year's crop, I'm happy with this signing. Basically, the way the NBA is structured right now, virtually every max player is going to outperform his contract - there is a monetary redistribution going on from max players and rookies to non-max players as this 538 article shows.

I don't know if DA was aware of this but having lots of talent on rookie deals and signing top-flight players to max deals is the sweet spot of the NBA salary cap deals. It's the signing of the Mozgovs to $64M where teams are going to get less value (although if they don't have access to rookie deals or max talent, they have nowhere else to spend their money).

Also, Horford appears to have enough respect around the league to be a guy with whom other stars want to play.

Horford is going to outperform his contract. He will be able to help attract other stars. Other than that, what else do we need from a FA signing?
You don't know if Ainge is aware of the NBA landscape? This has been his MO dating back to his first day on the job! Ainge has NEVER overpaid for mediocrity.....he filled out our championship roster on the cheap with Posey, who had worn out his welcome in Miami earning a terrible reputation, added minimum salary guys like House, Marbury, PJ Brown.......and didn't blink twice when it came time to pay guys like Posey and Perkins and Evan Turner when they came due, he simply moved on to the next cheap role playing option. The same will happen with Sullinger and Zeller if/when they have a suitor as RFA once the Unrestricted guys come off the market.
 

Fishy1

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I love the Horford signing. He fits wonderfully into what the Celtics are trying to do - build a Spurs east kind of team with a big who can pass well out of the pick and roll or from the elbows, and defend competently - without restricting our ability to sign another star.

I understand, I think, mauf's frustration: that he's not a superstar. He'll disappear occasionally as he did these playoffs. He's not a dominant scorer. He doesn't take the scoring load off IT, and he doesn't solve our shooting woes. He's not even dominant defensively.

But this team needed two things, as far as I can tell, in order to make it to the finals: a, steady hand at the 5 on both ends, and a dominant wing (a superstar). We've got one of those things now.

Sullinger is probably gone now (the front court is crowded, and he's too good not to be paid), and a lot of people are saying good riddance, but the guy made himself into a contributor on both sides of the ball and his rebounding will be missed. The Tristan Thompsons of the world will be match up problems for us going forward.
 

Devizier

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I'll respectfully agree to disagree, johnmd (poet, didn't even know it). Name another big name FA that came here.

Perception is reality.
As I pointed out in the other thread, there haven't been a lot of big free agents that have gone to a lot of places. Off the top of my head:

Miami (James, Bosh)
Cleveland (James)
Los Angeles (Shaq)
Phoenix (Chambers, Nash)
Orlando (McGrady, Hill)

After that, the biggest guys that move in free agency have been high quality rotation players. Unrestricted free agency is only thirty years old, and even then it was restricted in some unique ways (bonus salaries to extended contracts, etc.) The league is rigged to keep players in place. The biggest stars that move generally do so by trade.
 

moondog80

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Aldridge to San Antonio?

You're right though, it's far less common in the NBA compared to other sports. I never believed the "Boston can't attract big FA" stuff.
 

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I love the Horford signing. He fits wonderfully into what the Celtics are trying to do - build a Spurs east kind of team with a big who can pass well out of the pick and roll or from the elbows, and defend competently - without restricting our ability to sign another star.

I understand, I think, mauf's frustration: that he's not a superstar. He'll disappear occasionally as he did these playoffs. He's not a dominant scorer. He doesn't take the scoring load off IT, and he doesn't solve our shooting woes. He's not even dominant defensively.

But this team needed two things, as far as I can tell, in order to make it to the finals: a, steady hand at the 5 on both ends, and a dominant wing (a superstar). We've got one of those things now.

Sullinger is probably gone now (the front court is crowded, and he's too good not to be paid), and a lot of people are saying good riddance, but the guy made himself into a contributor on both sides of the ball and his rebounding will be missed. The Tristan Thompsons of the world will be match up problems for us going forward.
If we could keep Sullinger in lieu of Zeller that would be ideal if Sullinger would be ok with backup 5 (or big 4 if Stevens wants to throw that in for a change of pace). Of course he'd have to do it at a price that didn't prevent us signing the bigger fish we desire to fry. I don't know how realistic that is.

I just can't see Sullinger not ballooning up. It clouds my appreciation of him unfortunately.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Aldridge to San Antonio?

You're right though, it's far less common in the NBA compared to other sports. I never believed the "Boston can't attract big FA" stuff.
It isn't only Boston though it is many teams in less than desirable locations. Isaish was asked by Ordway why players don't view Boston as a destination and he flatly said, "Weather."

Look at that list above. What does it have in common?
 

moondog80

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It isn't only Boston though it is many teams in less than desirable locations. Isaish was asked by Ordway why players don't view Boston as a destination and he flatly said, "Weather."

Look at that list above. What does it have in common?
Organizations that were in a position to win.

I don't doubt that it's a factor, but it's never been a deal breaker, and way too much has been made of it. Why did it work for the Lakers then but not now? Why has it never worked for Houston or Atlanta? Why did Carmelo demand a trade to NY? Why doesn't it work in the NFL?
 

lexrageorge

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It isn't only Boston though it is many teams in less than desirable locations. Isaish was asked by Ordway why players don't view Boston as a destination and he flatly said, "Weather."

Look at that list above. What does it have in common?
Since I'm unaware that Cleveland had similar weather to Orlando, I assume the answer to your question is "cap space". That's something the Celtics never had for a variety of reasons (some intentional, and some due to utter incompetence during the pre-Ainge era).
 

RoDaddy

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If we could keep Sullinger in lieu of Zeller that would be ideal if Sullinger would be ok with backup 5 (or big 4 if Stevens wants to throw that in for a change of pace). Of course he'd have to do it at a price that didn't prevent us signing the bigger fish we desire to fry. I don't know how realistic that is.
I just can't see Sullinger not ballooning up. It clouds my appreciation of him unfortunately.
With the Horford signing, the only value I see from Sullinger now is as a a banger rebounder, epecially since Horford reportedly is not that physical a player. There must be a handful of available round bodies who could do this for a lot cheaper than a Sully resign. Big Baby anyone?
 

Ed Hillel

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Cleveland is obviously a unique situation w/r/t Lebron James.
And yet arguably the second best NBA free agent ever is currently deciding between Oklahoma City, Oakland, San Antonio, and Boston and has ruled out LA and is likely to do the same for Miami.
 

In my lifetime

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I too don't really see the any reason not to love the Horford signing.
He instantly becomes the Celtics best player.
He fills a position of need.
He makes the Celtics one of the top few teams in the East (behind Cleveland, but arguably as good a team as any other team)
The money with the new cap and the cap going forward will end up being reasonable (and is a free agent bargain compared to the money being thrown at free agents this past week) in the new economics of the NBA.
If they didn't sign him, I am not sure where they could have used the money and an impact free agent shut out was possible.
Adding on one of significance, and saving the money does not necessarily lead to a bonanza in 2017 free agent market (1 in hand is worth 2 in the bush)
and the Celtics now have perhaps a 25% to land KD vs. a <1%. (I know you can argue the numbers, but the fact remains that the Celtics now have a much better chance to land KG)
I guess to me I would much rather have Horford + max contract room now, than 2 max contract room next year.

If the Celtics land KG, Ainge deserves GM of the decade.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Organizations that were in a position to win.

I don't doubt that it's a factor, but it's never been a deal breaker, and way too much has been made of it. Why did it work for the Lakers then but not now? Why has it never worked for Houston or Atlanta? Why did Carmelo demand a trade to NY? Why doesn't it work in the NFL?
I was only repeating what an NBA player said as the #1 factor and the list above fits that mold with the obvious exception of LeBron as we know that was a truly unique situation......which he left for South Beach himself to begin with.

Carmelo has another mitigating circumstance being a NY guy and his wife demanding on being in the city to further her career. The Lakers we know are dysfunctional. You can ALWAYS point to an outlier to dispute that when all else is equal players want to be in beautiful climates.....so call Isaiah and tell him that he's wrong too. ;)

This is a HUGE get as we are now a legitimate option for Durant both this sunny and next after this amazing weekend with Brady and the Papi tweet along with Ainge's work in developing a relationship with Durant from years ago. Without Durant it is still ok as it improves the team and solidifies our defensive interior but certainly not the impact to meet the expectations I'm hearing from some fans.
 
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PedroKsBambino

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Carmelo was born in NYC and lived there until he was 8; his wife is also a pure NYC person. it is true he moved to Baltimore and went to HS there.
 

crystalline

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Basically, the way the NBA is structured right now, virtually every max player is going to outperform his contract - there is a monetary redistribution going on from max players and rookies to non-max players as this 538 article shows.

I don't know if DA was aware of this but having lots of talent on rookie deals and signing top-flight players to max deals is the sweet spot of the NBA salary cap deals. It's the signing of the Mozgovs to $64M where teams are going to get less value (although if they don't have access to rookie deals or max talent, they have nowhere else to spend their money).
I agree with HRB - of course Danny knows this - but I also agree with you that Horford is a huge get for pure economics reasons.

In most sports, all FAs are mediocre deals at best -- by definition, they are paid equal to their market value. Winning in football and baseball requires getting strong production from below market salaries, from luck and from the draft.

But in the NBA the max contract means that top FAs bring talent at below-market rates. So Danny is smart to go all out to try to sign top FAs and treat mid-range FAs as fungible. And yes the rising cap makes max-contract FAs even more valuable still.
 

nighthob

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Carmelo was born in NYC and lived there until he was 8; his wife is also a pure NYC person. it is true he moved to Baltimore and went to HS there.
Right, he grew up in Baltimore. He was as much a "New York guy" as I am a Lawrence guy for having been born there.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Any rumors on who is going to offer him a deal?
Way too early for the RFA guys to have a market. Once Durant decides the rest of ten UFA class should quickly follow then when the teams who missed out on frontcourt depth evaluate their standing that is when the RFA like Sully, Zeller, Meyers Leonard and other rotation bigs under this category will begin to sign offer sheets.

Even with the window cut from 7 days to 3 the FA period moves way too fast for a team to make an offer, tie up a cap hold, and be held at ransom by the players team who holds his rights to match.
 

SumnerH

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Right, he grew up in Baltimore. He was as much a "New York guy" as I am a Lawrence guy for having been born there.
He grew up in both--he grew up for 8 years in NYC compared to 9 in Baltimore (and one at Oak Hill). It's not like he was born there and immediately moved away, and he's obviously spent the last 5 years in NYC as well.
 

The Mort Report

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If the Celtics land KG again, Ainge definitely deserves something ;-)

When the Celtics signed former player Danny Ainge in 2003, who here knew that our team was hiring a fucking wizard?
I remember being irate that we hired him only based on his playing days.

Funny I had the same thought about Sweeney and the Bruins... I hope it turns out the same
 

HomeRunBaker

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If the Celtics land KG again, Ainge definitely deserves something ;-)

When the Celtics signed former player Danny Ainge in 2003, who here knew that our team was hiring a fucking wizard?
The best presser ever was Ainge promising to "turn this thing around" as the Celtics were in the middle of a playoff series. I'm sure the players were thrilled to hear that.