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After the Boston Celtics' disappointing second-round exit in the NBA Playoffs, Al Horford has a tough decision to make. The versatile big man has the opportunity to opt out of his $30 million contract this summer to explore his options around the league. Alternatively, he could give himself long-term security by signing a new contract in Boston.
If Horford does decide to opt out, here are the most likely landing spots for the five-time All Star in free agency.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
While Horford likely isn't at the top of the Los Angeles Lakers' list, they have been known to whiff on big signings before. LeBron James plays best with shooters around him and likes to have the ability to run the pick and roll with a shooter as he did with Chris Bosh and Kevin Love. The Lakers do have Kyle Kuzma, who fits in this role, but with the amount of youth on this team, Los Angeles could prioritize adding another veteran. If Horford is interested in joining LeBron and the Lakers, he'd be a great fit in Los Angeles.
3. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have money to play with this summer,
and they're likely looking to bring in a third star to team with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Horford could be a great fit in Dallas, as he'd provide veteran leadership on an upstart Mavericks team. Porzingis and Horford could be a devastating frontcourt pairing, as both are capable shooters and elite defenders.
2. Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets shocked the league by not only making the playoffs, but entering the postseason as a No. 6 seed. While their first priority will be to bring back D'Angelo Russell, adding Horford could make the Nets a formidable team in the East. Offensively, Horford can stretch the floor and would add another shooter for D'Angelo Russell to kick the ball to. Defensively, pairing Horford with Jarrett Allen could allow the Nets to throw a variety of looks at opposing offenses. Clearing the cap space might be tricky, but with the right moves Brooklyn could have a shot at signing Horford.
1. Boston Celtics
The most likely destination for Horford is arguably re-signing with the Celtics. Horford is one of the leaders of the Celtics and fits well with this team. If Horford walks, Boston would lose one of the most intergral pieces on its roster, so expect the Celtics to try and retain his services. Horford might be open to signing a long-term contract if Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens convince him the team is on the right track.
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