In the past few months, rumors have swirled around veteran center Al Horford and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers may have let the 2020 February NBA trade deadline pass with Horford still on the roster. Yet, with his inability to make himself fit with their system, most people believe he will be traded in the upcoming offseason. One of the NBA teams who could express interest in acquiring Horford this summer is the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Horford isn’t the type of player that would turn the Timberwolves into an instant title contender in the deep Western Conference. However, if they could acquire him without giving up valuable assets in return, Minnesota should grab the opportunity of pairing him with the face of the franchise, Karl-Anthony Towns. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Timberwolves could offer a trade package centered on James Johnson to the Sixers in exchange for Horford.
“The Timberwolves can build a lower-end package around James Johnson’s expiring salary (player option) if the Sixers are interested in shedding long-term money. Horford is more of a natural fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns, who has no qualms about living beyond the arc, and Russell than Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. His contract is no doubt an issue, but if the opportunity cost isn’t too steep, Minnesota seems like a team that would willing to roll the dice on the back end of his career.”
With his age and deteriorating performance, it is highly unlikely that the Sixers would be able to get something valuable in return by making Horford available on the trading block. Accepting the Timberwolves’ suggested offer might end up being a good move for the Sixers as they would no longer be needing to give up a future draft pick to Minnesota to absorb Horford’s lucrative contract.
Meanwhile, Horford may currently be a huge disappointment in the City of Brotherly Love, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing would happen when he starts playing in Minnesota. As Favale noted, Horford would be a better fit with Towns and D’Angelo Russell than with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Though the potential acquisition of Horford wouldn’t put the Timberwolves anywhere near the level of Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, he could help them become a more competitive team in the 2020-21 NBA season. Horford may no longer be in his prime, but he still has plenty of gas left in his tank. The only thing he needs right now to bring back his old self is an NBA team that fits his game and gives him the opportunity to prove that his NBA career is far from over.