Philadelphia 76ers: Two Trade Ideas for Former All-Star Al Horford

The Philadelphia 76ers are on the hunt to find a suitor for former All-Star big man Al Horford. The 34-year-old had a rough season in the City of Brotherly Love, averaging just 11.9 points and 6.8 rebounds on 45 percent shooting, 35 percent from three, and 76.3 percent from the line. It was Horford’s lowest scoring output since his sophomore season in 2009 as he struggled mightily playing alongside Joel Embiid.

When Philadelphia signed Al Horford to a four year, $109-million deal, the vision was to combine his size and floor spacing with Joel Embiid. It was deemed an intelligent forward-thinking move, using sheer force to overwhelm the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs. Additionally, Horford’s arrival could allow the Sixers to rest Embiid throughout the season.

The on-court fit, however, was horrendous.

There was no spacing for either one to operate in. Both prefer to play on the block, especially Embiid who loves to use his large frame to bully opponents in the paint. Horford is a stretch five who can shoot the three at a good clip (career average of 36.4 percent) but he’s not a high volume three-point shooter (just 1.5 attempts per game). The big man has also played his entire career as a center and not at power forward thus the experiment was doomed from the get-go.

General Manager Elton Brand must rectify his mistake by moving on from Horford after one season.

Philadelphia 76ers: Two Trade Ideas for Former All-Star Al Horford

The Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers Trade All-Stars

Why Cleveland Does This

Kevin Love has been on the trade block for almost two seasons and there hasn’t been much interest in the former All-Star. In this deal, the Cavaliers finally move him plus get a free look at 21-year-old wing Zhaire Smith.

Taken with the 16th pick in 2018, Smith has struggled to break into the 76ers rotation stuck behind Josh Richardson and Matisse Thybulle. He is a big, defensive-minded wing who plays hard and improves Cleveland’s porous defense.

Why the Philadelphia 76ers Do This

Love is a perfect piece to pair with Embiid. He’s is a perimeter-oriented big man and an excellent shooter from deep (career average of 37 percent). Although he has aged considerably and is a far cry from the Love fans saw in Minnesota, he is still a very good rebounder and an excellent offensive option on the block.

The 76ers struggled mightily last season due to spacing issues and Love is happy to stand behind the arc to shoot jumpers.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings do Business

ESPN’s Zach Lowe discussed a Hield for Horford transaction potentially taking place. The Sacramento Kings and 76ers could easily make this work with a straight swap.

Why the Sacramento Kings Do It

Sacramento could save up to $25 million dollars over the life of Al Horford’s deal. His final year is only $14.5-million guaranteed so the Kings can either use him as an expiring deal or waive him in 2022-23. Also, removing Hield’s toxicity from the locker-room is a must if the Kings are going to build a positive culture.

Since receiving a four-year, $96-million dollar extension from Sacramento, the relationship with Hield has only gone south. The guard:

  • openly complaining about losing games
  • relegated to a sixth man role
  • openly complaining about his role to the media
  • public trade demand
  • ignoring calls from Luke Walton and the Sacramento franchise

This deal presents Sacramento with a chance to do this and remove a negative asset from the team’s culture.

Why Philadelphia Does This

For Philadelphia, Hield provides some sorely-needed three-point shooting. The 27-year-old is also a solid shot creator off the dribble and can make tough contested jumpers. Philadelphia’s greatest weakness last season was scoring and creation, two things Hield does very well. He’s mediocre defensively but alongside Simmons and Embiid, his deficiencies will be hidden.

Beneficial for Both Sides

This deal makes too much sense for it not to happen and provides both ball clubs an opportunity to start again. Philadelphia is on a mission to win a championship and Hield gives them what they are missing.

The Kings, on the other hand, appear to be mailing it in and rebuilding. Hield and Harrison Barnes are both in trade rumors signaling an incoming rebuild.

If this deal does go through, Philadelphia returns to being serious contenders while the Kings will contend for a top lottery pick in 2021.

Main Image: Embed from Getty Images


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