Al Horford Could Be the Best Thing to Happen to Joel Embiid in Philly

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics / Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

We'll be the first to admit that we found ourselves scratching our heads when it was reported the Philadelphia 76ers signed Al Horford to a four-year contract worth $109 million.

Our thinking was why would they bring on another big man when they already have one of the best in all of basketball -- Joel Embiid? But, as we thought more about the big picture, the concept of pairing the two players could prove to be a massive under-the-radar triumph for Embiid.

For starters, Horford gave Embiid endless fits whenever the Sixers clashed with the C's, holding the former Kansas Jayhawk to a grotesque offensive efficiency and abnormally higher turnover rate than he's normally accustomed to.

Embiid will now no longer be wary of the idea of squaring up against Horford in the post in a potential future playoff series against Brad Stevens and Co. But, there's one far more important dynamic that Al is bringing to The City of Brotherly Love.

His presence and ability to log significant minutes will provide Embiid with a free pass to rest for extra minutes during games and take games off when his body is feeling sore. And everybody knows how delicate Joel's health is. Over three seasons in the league, the two-time All-Star has never played in more than 64 games.

Had Embiid not been ailing during the playoffs, Philly could have very well beat Toronto in the Eastern Conference Finals. After all, they were dangerously close to doing so with him at far less than 100 percent.

Signing Horford should have Embiid, assuming he doesn't suffer another serious injury, near 100% come April and therefore, could be the best thing to happen to Philly's beloved unicorn when all is said and done.