Philadelphia 76ers center Al Horford has been the subject of criticism in the past few months. The Sixers gave Horford a four-year, $109 million contract in the 2019 NBA free agency with the belief that he would boost their chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title. Unfortunately, since the 2019-20 NBA season started, Horford has been struggling on both ends of the floor and is noticeably having a hard time coexisting with Joel Embiid in the Sixers’ frontcourt.
With his inability to make himself fit in Coach Brett Brown’s system, rumors are circulating that the Sixers might explore trading Horford in the 2020 NBA offseason. In a recent interview with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the 33-year-old big man decided to break his silence on the trade rumors surrounding his future with the Sixers. Though it seems like he’s aware of the trade speculations, Horford said that as of now, he’s just focused on the things that he can control.
“All I can say is I am focused on right now,” Horford told Pompey, as quoted by Hoops Rumors. “I can’t control speculation. That is a decision they would have to make when the time is right. Right now, I am focused on getting some wins for our team.”
It would definitely be best for Horford to just ignore the trade rumors involving him. Thinking of such things won’t do him anything good, especially now that the Sixers aren’t living up to expectations from an NBA team that is supposed to be a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. To make things more complicated for the Sixers, they are currently playing without two of their best players, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, who are both still recovering from an injury.
However, though the absence of Simmons and Embiid aren’t helping the Sixers improve their standings in the 2019-20 NBA season, it turned out to be beneficial for Horford. With Simmons and Embiid on the sideline, Coach Brett Brown brought Horford back to the starting lineup and allowed him to play more minutes, which gave him the opportunity to prove that he deserves the massive contract that he signed last summer. Unfortunately, as of now, Horford hasn’t made the most out of that opportunity.
Though he managed to impress in some of their previous games, Horford still struggled to become consistent on both ends of the floor and has failed to lead the Sixers to victories. If he doesn’t show major improvements with his game until Simmons and Embiid return, it is highly likely that Horford is playing his first and final season with the Sixers.