Free agent center and likely ex-Celtic Al Horford is expected to speak with interested teams Sunday night and make his decision either Monday or Tuesday, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
Horford opted out of the final year of his four-year deal with the Celtics and reportedly decided to take his talents elsewhere in free agency once negotiations on a return to Boston broke down.
The Celtics responded to seemingly losing Horford and Kyrie Irving in the same week by landing All-Star point guard Kemba Walker. The two sides agreed to a four-year, $141 million max contract Sunday.
Boston also showed interest in a three-team sign-and-trade involving the Nets and Hornets, where the C's would send Irving to the Nets, Terry Rozier to Charlotte and receive Walker so they could potentially re-sign Horford. That scenario seems dead in the water as of now.
According to Himmelsbach, a sign-and-trade would be a quest for Boston to be able to use the $9.2 million Mid-Level-Exception to help round out their roster.
There was speculation Sunday the Celtics could be in the midst of a series of sign-and-trade moves to put themselves in position to bring Horford back after all. But a league source indicated on Sunday night this sign-and-trade was not expected to be part of a larger scheme. Instead, it is more likely that it will be a quest for Boston to operate as an over-the-cap team, thus allowing it to have the full $9.2 mid-level exception to use on other free agents rather than just the $4.7 million room exception it would have had if it had signed Walker using cap space.
Full sign-and-trade details have yet to surface, but we know for sure that Rozier is on his way to Charlotte under those terms. We'll have to see if Danny Ainge can give his team more of an advantage in the free agent market with Walker in the fold.
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