Big news out of Boston!
Per Adrian Wojnarowski, veteran big man Al Horford will not be picking up the $30.1 million player option on his current contract with the Celtics, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. Notably, the two sides have interest in meeting in July to discuss terms on a new multi-year deal.
Horford initially signed a four-year, $113 million contract in 2016 and made $28.9 million this past season, but it's unlikely he can find this type of money over mutliple years on the open market now that he's 33 years old. With that in mind, a return to Boston is foreseeable.
The five-time All-Star is coming off his 12th NBA season, during which he averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, plus a career-low 29 minutes per ciontest. He did shoot 53% from the field, however, and was the C's most reliable starting defender and locker room leader.
Horford has never hinted that he would like to play anywhere else, and refusing to pick up his existing contract option could provide the Celtics with the opportunity to offer him a deal that sees him in Boston for the remainder of his career while giving them the flexibility to fill out the rest of their roster without paying the luxury tax, as Bobby Marks notes.
This move could end up being a huge win for Danny Ainge and Co., as Big Al could end up saving them a considerable amount of money next year while continuing to provide efficient, steady contributions on the floor.