Al Horford and the Celtics want to extend their relationship.
Boston’s center will decline his $30.1 million option this offseason and become an unrestricted free agent, but he is doing so in hopes of working out a new deal with the Celtics, according to ESPN.
Boston Celtics center Al Horford will not exercise the $30.1M option on his 2019-20 contract and become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell ESPN. Horford and the Celtics both have interest in working toward a new deal in July, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2019
Horford, 33, is coming off of a season in which he averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 53.5 percent from the floor and 36.0 percent from beyond the arc.
He is starting to get older and the team may want to restructure his deal so it can have more flexibility in free agency.
Kyrie Irving is expected to decline his option as well and hit the open market with the Nets the reported favorite to land the guard in free agency.
Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum are expected to remain in Boston, but players such as Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier could find themselves with new teams.
However, Rozier reportedly is open to returning if Irving doesn’t, so the Celtics likely will need a little bit more money to re-sign the guard.
If Horford takes a pay cut then Rozier would likely be able to get his money.
The Celtics currently are $16 million over the salary cap, according to Spotrac, but if Irving (option figure: $21.3 million) leaves then they would have some money to spend, especially if Horford agrees to a more team-friendly deal.