Al Horford will be a healthy scratch for rest of Thunder’s season

Al Horford, OKC Thunder, NBA Rumors, Celtics, Warriors, Wizards

The OKC Thunder are clearly in the middle of a rebuild. They have traded many key players over the last few seasons and will be fully committed to their efforts down the stretch-run ahead of a loaded 2021 NBA Draft.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Thunder general manager Sam Presti has committed to work with Al Horford’s representation to find a trade suitor that better fits the current stage of his career.

“After the season, Horford will have two years and $53 million left on his contract. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has pledged to work with Horford and his agent, Jason Glushon, on finding the center a trade to a team that fits better with this late stage of his career.”

Part of the decision for both Horford and the OKC Thunder for him to not play for the rest of the season is to protect him from potential injury. He would end up being stuck in Oklahoma City for the remainder of his deal that has two-years left if he were to suffer a major injury.

“Sitting out protects Horford against injury that could complicate the ability to move him in the offseason. Horford has averaged 14.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists this season. After joining the 76ers on a four-year, $109 million free-agent deal in 2019, Horford was traded to the Thunder on draft night in 2020.”

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Horford remains a reliable playmaker with his passing ability and can utilize his shooting ability to provide valuable floor spacing. When factoring in his strong defensive contributions, there’s lots of appeal for teams to pursue him in the offseason.

The value that Al Horford provides at the five spot should be intriguing for many teams. His robust contract made it too difficult for rival teams to maneuver the salary cap in an attempt to acquire him ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Horford will remain a name to watch in NBA rumors during the offseason.