Al Horford on Thunder Trade Rumors: 'I Think Anything Is Possible'

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 26, 2021

Oklahoma City Thunder center Al Horford (42) during an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Al Horford certainly stands out on his team's roster.

As the Thunder look to get younger and rebuild, the 34-year-old center is the third-oldest player on the team behind Trevor Ariza and George Hill. The former Florida Gators star may not fit into OKC's long-term plans, but he remains a valuable asset at the moment. 

Horford is averaging 14.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 22 games this season while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37.9 percent behind the arc—a significant upgrade from last year when Horford averaged 45 percent from the field while attempting three fewer shots per game. 

That could make him a strong trade candidate as the March 25 deadline approaches—a notion Horford told Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix that Thunder general manager Sam Presti has been up-front about.

"I think anything is possible," Horford said. "But I'm not going to dwell on [any trade talk] too much."

As Mannix noted, Presti may not be in a huge rush to deal Horford yet. The Thunder are operating with the third-lowest payroll in the NBA behind the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets ($106.5 million) and have Horford under contract until 2023. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Oklahoma City is not in a position where it has to move Horford quite yet, but it could turn out to be worth it if a contender feels he's the missing piece. With the Thunder continuing to stockpile future draft picks for the next few years, even the slightest bidding war for Horford at the deadline may prove too much to walk away from. 

After a failed stint with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019-20—during which Horford averaged 11.9 points and 6.8 rebounds—the center was traded to OKC for a package that sent Terrance Ferguson, Danny Green and Vincent Poirier back to Philadelphia.

If the Thunder can flip Horford into more long-term assets, it's hard to imagine Presti won't pursue those options. 

it just remains to be seen what type of market is out there for Horford's services and how best the Thunder can take advantage of it.