After failing to live up to the massive contract he signed last summer, rumors have started to circulate around veteran center Al Horford and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. With his inability to co-exist with Joel Embiid in Philadelphia’s frontcourt, there are speculations that the Sixers might explore trading Horford in the summer of 2020. The 2019-20 NBA season is still far from over, but several teams have already been rumored to be interested in acquiring Horford from the Sixers this offseason, including the Sacramento Kings.
In an article he wrote previously, Sam Quinn of CBS Sports mentioned the Kings as one of the landing spots that make sense for Horford in the offseason. In the proposed trade scenario, the Kings would be sending a trade package including Harrison Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica to the Sixers in exchange for Horford, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“The Kings have something of a logjam in the frontcourt. Finding minutes for Barnes, Bjelica, Marvin Bagley, Richaun Holmes and Harry Giles next season is going to be difficult even with Barnes likely playing more minutes at small forward. Swapping two of them out for Horford, who will need fewer minutes as he ages and has the most diverse skill set of that group, makes some sense. His defensive versatility pairs well with the offensively-driven Bagley and Holmes, who functions most comfortably as a rim-protector defensively.”
The potential deal would allow the Kings to acquire multiple draft picks while also saving money, which they could use to re-sign Bogdan Bogdanovic in free agency. With Barnes heading to the City of Brotherly Love, Kings head coach Luke Walton would have the opportunity to experiment with a three-guard starting lineup of Bogdanovic, De’Aaron Fox, and Buddy Hield.
If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Kings, but also for the 76ers. Though they would be giving up three future draft selections in the process, it would help the team unload Horford’s lucrative contract and acquire veteran players who could complement franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Barnes would give the 76ers a reliable three-and-D wingman who has championship experience and knowledge on how to play on a team with multiple superstars. In Bjelica, the Sixers would be adding a big man who could efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc.