Al Horford has chosen to opt out of his $30.1 million player option with the Boston Celtics for this upcoming 2019-2020 season. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Boston Celtics center Al Horford will not exercise the $30.1M option on his 2019-20 contract and become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell ESPN. Horford and the Celtics both have interest in working toward a new deal in July, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2019
This was expected. What is unknown at this juncture is whether Horford will re-sign a team friendly deal to return. So far all signs point to yes.
After the season Horford told our own Sierra Goodwill that he wants to return to the Celtics.
Al Horford on if he wants to continue his career in Boston:
— Sierra Goodwill (@SierraGoodwill) May 9, 2019
Celtics President of Basketball operations Danny Ainge has openly expressed his desire to bring Horford back.
“I do think Al Horford will be back,” Smith said. “I don’t see him opting out and signing for anything approaching what he’s making now.”
“Al loves Boston,” Anna Horford said. “And if it’s at all possible for him to stay I think he would do what’s necessary within reason.”
And there’s the rub. What does within reason mean? How much of a hometown discount is Al willing to take to remain in Boston.
Also, the Celtics landscape has changed significantly since the season ended. Anthony Davis is not walking through that door. And, it is believed Kyrie Irving is on his way out. Now Horford must decide whether to return in the mentor role for a team that may no longer be a title contender.
Horford has spent three years in Boston and averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists last year.