Mannix: Al Horford could make a difference for Celtics


The Boston Celtics haven't been able to find any sort of consistency up to this point in the season. Could they look to an old friend to help them turn things around?

With the C's looking for a mix of size and shooting, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated believes they could benefit from a reunion with big man Al Horford. Now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Horford has shown he still has something left in the tank following a rough year in Philadelphia.

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"It's no surprise to me that Al Horford goes to Oklahoma City, which has a history of putting players like Horford in good positions, and he has turned into something more resembling the Al Horford we saw for many years in Boston," Mannix said Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition.

"We know he fits in Brad Stevens' system, he can play the 5, he can play a little bit of 4, he can shoot the 3 which he's done a lot better this year than he did in Philadelphia. And let's not forget the Celtics, they wanted Al Horford to come back. They just didn't want to pay him four years, $100-plus million the Sixers were willing to offer. Now he's got two-and-a-half years left on his contract, around $70ish million total on that deal. I would take him back in a heartbeat.

"I understand there were some raw dealings when Al Horford left. Not just that he left, but that he went to a chief rival in Philadelphia. But if you can let bygones be bygones, I think Al Horford could make a difference on this team."

Horford left the Celtics in free agency two summers ago to join the 76ers, an experiment that proved to be a disaster for both sides. Now the 34-year-old finds himself on a rebuilding Thunder team, a situation he may not want to be in at this stage of his NBA career.

The Celtics have some intriguing options with their $28.5 million traded player exception. They'll have until the March 25 deadline to put it to use this season.

Horford is averaging 14.7 points and 6.9 rebounds through 19 games so far in 2020-21.

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