There is a lot to talk about Celtics-wise right now, but I need to talk about Al Horford for a moment if that’s okay.
Kyrie leaving Boston in free agency came as no surprise to anyone, right? Right. And it’s safe to say that Irving’s departure actually makes the Celtics a better team, right? Right. I mean, just look at the team’s performance when Irving was off the court due to injury vs. on the court. A majority of those games were good, solid games. Plus, all the Kyrie-related drama…good grief the drama. Oh and Kemba Walker? The Celtics may have lost Irving, but they gained a player who performs at the same level as Irving and then some. So yeah, no big loss for Boston. Al Horford, on the other hand, signing with Philly?
Actually, Horford leaving was also not a huge surprise given that he had opted out of his contract right before free agency but it was a huge disappointment. At the start of the offseason, with Irving all but out the door and Anthony Davis unlikely to sign with Boston, it wasn’t all that hard to imagine AL Horford going somewhere other than Boston, especially to a team that would allow him to play more power forward. But I had hope, hope that he would stay. And with rumors swirling right before the official start of free agency that the Celtics were working on a deal that would bring Kemba Walker to Boston while also keeping Al Horford, my hope only increased.
Is Horford’s moving on to Philly the end of the world? No. As I noted above, with Kyrie gone, there should be less drama (please let there be less drama) and with Kemba Walker —- who has an amazing ability to find and take advantage of offensive opportunities and score from all levels, and plays with passion instead of dollar signs. Plus, Walker is known as a player who can bring teams together both on and off the field—- on the court, the Celtics are in good shape. But Horford was the glue that kept the Celtics together last season amongst all the drama and injuries. He had the skills both on and off the field that the Celtics needed to get as far as they did. It would have been great to see him on the court with Walker.
Now we’re left wondering, who will defend against the Embiids (Horford’s new teammate, btw) of the league?
Image Source: AP Images/Elise Amendola