With his failure to live up to expectations from the massive contract he signed last summer, rumors have started to circulate around veteran center Al Horford and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. The February trade deadline may have passed with Horford still on the Sixers’ roster, but there is speculation that Philadelphia would explore trading him in the 2020 NBA offseason. Though the 2019-20 NBA season is still far from over, several teams have already been linked to Horford, including the Detroit Pistons.
In his recent article, Sam Quinn of CBS Sports mentioned the Pistons as a potential trade partner for the Sixers if they ever consider moving Horford this summer. In the proposed deal, Detroit would offer Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard to the Sixers in exchange for Horford, Mike Scott, a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
If the trade becomes a reality, it would likely help both the Sixers and the Pistons in filling their rosters’ needs. For the Sixers, Quinn believes that the potential arrival of Griffin and Kennard would help them become a more competitive team in the Eastern Conference. Griffin would give them a younger, All-Star-caliber frontcourt partner for Joel Embiid, while Kennard would serve as a “long-term replacement” for J.J. Redick, who left them for the New Orleans Pelicans last summer.
“Griffin makes almost no sense on Philadelphia’s roster, but hey, if he’s healthy, finding minutes for a former All-Star is hardly ever a bad thing. Kennard is the true gem of the deal. He was in the midst of a breakout season for Detroit before getting injured in December, averaging nearly 16 points on 39.9 percent shooting from behind the arc. He could be Philadelphia’s long-term JJ Redick replacement provided he stays healthy, which is sadly never a given for the 76ers.”
Meanwhile, though it wouldn’t exactly help them free up a huge chunk of their salary cap space, the theoretical deal would enable the Pistons to gather valuable assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. As he is already 33 years old, Horford is clearly an odd fit with a team that is expected to undergo a rebuilding process. However, if he could play at the same level he did when he was still with the Boston Celtics, Horford’s presence could greatly help Detroit in the development of their young players.