The Philadelphia 76ers acquired Al Horford in the 2019 NBA free agency with the belief that he could boost their chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title. Unfortunately, since the 2019-20 season started, Horford is yet to live up to expectations from the massive contract he signed last summer. Horford has struggled to efficiently co-exist alongside Joel Embiid in the Sixers’ frontcourt and is noticeably having a hard time making himself fit with Coach Brett Brown’s system.
As of now, Horford is considered the odd man out in the City of Brotherly Love. If he fails to show a massive improvement with his performance when the real battle begins in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, fans may no longer see Horford wearing a Sixers’ jersey for another season. A source who spoke to USA Today Sports revealed that the Sixers might consider trading Horford to “get shooting” in the summer of 2020 if they suffer an early exit in the postseason.
“Short of a deep and surprising run in the playoffs, where do the Sixers go from here? Though the Sixers did not try to move Horford at the trade deadline, that might be a possibility in the off-season – if they can send that contract to another team and get shooting in return – a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about Philadelphia’s plans.”
Trading Horford and his lucrative contract in the 2020 NBA offseason would undeniably be a wise move for the Sixers, especially if they want to keep Embiid and Simmons happy in Philadelphia. At 33, Horford remains a very reliable contributor on both ends of the floor, but he is clearly not suited to the Sixers’ long-term plan. This is proven by the huge drop in his statistics.
In the 55 games he played this season, the veteran big man is only averaging 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 33.2 percent from beyond the arc. However, as much as the Sixers want to get rid of Horford after the 2019-20 NBA season, finding a team who will be willing to absorb his current contract would be a tough challenge for Philadelphia. With his current performance and age, it is highly likely that the Sixers would be needing to include a young player or a future first-round pick to find a taker for Horford’s massive deal this summer.