Let me get two things out of the way before we dive into this topic. First, it’s incredibly unlikely that Elton Brand and the 76ers are looking to trade away Al Horford. The team committed 100+ million dollars to him this offseason, and the concept of bailing on him after just 42 games is a tad bit crazy. Second, if the Sixers truly want to compete this year (and for years to come), they should absolutely be looking to dump Horford. Specifically, for anyone that can shoot a basketball.
Right around a week ago, rumors began flying left and right that the Sixers had begun exploring a potential trade which included packaging away Horford for Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum. While these reports were proven to in fact be fake, it started a conversation on the very real possibility for a deal like this to take shape.
Not only has Horford really struggled to fit in with his new team, but there are a plethora of really bad teams (with good players) out there who could be interested in moving a player for a slew of Philadelphia draft picks and prospects.
Why Trade Horford?
Before diving into the possible moves, let’s first talk about why I’m so *in* on the Sixers moving off Horford in the first place. For starters, Horford has simply not been playing well. He’s shooting a career-worst from the field at 45.5%, he’s shooting 34% from three (which is a career-low since he started taking more than one three a game), and he’s posting a career-low in rebounds per game.
He’s also shooting 65.9% from the free-throw line (2nd lowest in his career) and is averaging just 12.4 points per game (lowest average since 2009).
A few weeks back Horford was critical of how coach Brett Brown was using him within the offense. Many cited the fact that playing next to another center (Embiid) was what was holding him back. Once JoJo went down with his hand injury, many expected Horford to finally break through (including myself).
Four forgettable performances and a whole lot of bricked threes later, and it’s clear that the biggest reason Horford can’t produce right now is simply that he’s not that good anymore.
The other obvious reason to dump Al is his monstrous contract. Horford is owed another $81 million dollars over the next three seasons, and father time does not appear to be treating him too well. Horford just turned 33 this past summer and is already showing serious signs of regression, the thought of paying him big money until he’s 37 genuinely makes my heart hurt.
The sooner Elton Brand and the Sixers can fix this mistake, the better.
Grabbing value while you can, clearing up cap space, adding someone who can shoot are all other extremely good reasons to move off of Horford as well.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Continued on the next page: “Star Chasing”