After receiving a massive contract in the 2019 NBA free agency, veteran center Al Horford is currently viewed more as a liability than a player that would help the Philadelphia 76ers fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 season. Though the season is still far from over, rumors have already started to circulate around Horford and his future with the Sixers, suggesting that Philadelphia might explore trading the 33-year-old big man in the summer of 2020.
In his recent article, Sam Quinn of CBS Sports suggested several potential landing spots that make sense for Horford in the 2020 NBA offseason, including the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the proposed trade deal by CBS Sports, the Cavaliers would be sending a trade package centered on Kevin Love to the Sixers in exchange for Horford, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
If the trade becomes a reality, Quinn believes that it would be beneficial for both the Sixers and the Cavaliers. Though they would be losing two future second-round picks in the process, the potential deal is indeed a no-brainer for the Sixers. In exchange for Horford, the Sixers would be acquiring a younger big man in Love who could be a better fit alongside franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
“If any team in the NBA is equipped to hide Love’s weaknesses, it is Philadelphia. Not even Love could screw up defensive lineups featuring Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle. He knows how to space the floor on a contender having done it for LeBron James for four seasons. His outlet passing alongside Simmons would create one of the best transition attacks in the NBA. Swapping Horford for Love only boosts what is already the sixth-best rebounding team in the NBA.”
Love may have defensive issues, but he would still be an incredible addition to the Sixers, giving them an All-Star-caliber big man who can knock down shots from the three-point range. This season, the 31-year-old power forward is averaging 17.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from beyond the arc. What makes Love a more intriguing acquisition for the Sixers is his ability to efficiently co-exist with other NBA superstars.
With the years he spent with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James in Cleveland, Love wouldn’t mind serving as third fiddle behind Embiid and Simmons in the City of Brotherly Love. Meanwhile, the potential deal would allow the Cavaliers to acquire future draft picks that they could use to add more young and promising talents to their roster. Though Horford is clearly an odd fit with their long-term plan, Quinn believes that his defense, half-court passing, and screening would be “nice developmental boosters” to Cavaliers’ young guards like Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.