Five-time NBA All-Star Al Horford, who spent three seasons with the Celtics before joining the 76ers as a free agent in 2019, is headed back for another stint in Beantown. The 35-year-old was dealt to Boston along with center Moses Brown and a 2023 second-rounder Friday in a trade sending Kemba Walker, the 16th pick in next month’s draft and a second-round selection in 2025 to Oklahoma City. Horford spent much of last season as a spectator, appearing in just 28 games for the Thunder who, as part of the team’s ongoing rebuilding efforts, prioritized its younger players down the stretch.
In his first major move as team president, Celtics exec Brad Stevens did well to unload Walker’s contract, creating an extra $9 million to spend on free agents. Reaction to the trade was mostly positive among Celtics fans, many of whom had grown frustrated with Walker’s inconsistency and continued durability concerns (the injury-prone guard didn’t play a single back-to-back in 2020-21). A fan favorite during his three years in Boston, Horford took to Instagram shortly after the trade was announced, expressing his excitement at being back “home” while alluding to “unfinished business.”
Horford’s sister, Anna, also seemed pleased by the outcome of Friday’s blockbuster.
A 14-year vet, the former third overall pick averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 blocks on 49.8-percent shooting (38.2 from three-point range) in 208 games for the Celtics from 2016-19.