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Why, Al? (And other free agency thoughts)



No Celtics fan should be ready to confront the reality that Al Horford is now a member of the 76ers. He’s so goddamn good, and he’s playing for the rival team, who you’d have to assume will be the favorite to win the East next year, depending on what Kawhi ends up doing. His jetting for Philly also probably shows how dark last year was for the Celtics. Poor Al must have felt like Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 


The Bucks had an interesting day. They gave Khris Middleton a cringey amount (five years, $178 million), re-upped on Brook Lopez and George Hill, added Lopez brother Robin, and let Malcolm Brogdon, arguably the team’s second-best player in the playoffs, walk to Indiana, for a four-year-$85 million deal. Every team can use a player like Brogdon, and now that he’s gone, that mid-season extension of Eric Bledsoe looks even more questionable. 


Tobias Harris’s $180 million contract over five years will probably look even more absurd in a few years than it does now. Harris has game, but he probably won’t ever be an All-Star; he’s not a great playmaker, and he shot 42.5/34.9/84.6 in last year’s playoffs on 15.5 points per game. Those numbers are great at $15 million a season. Not great for $36 million. Plus, Ben Simmons is due for a massive extension after next season. There will be rich guy tax to be paid if the 76ers want to keep all four. 


Some of our least favorite contracts: Terry Rozier to Charlotte for $58 million over three years. Trevor Ariza to the Kings for $25 million over two years. Rudy Gay returning to San Antonio for $32 million over two years. 


Some of our favorite: JJ Redick to the Pelicans for $26.5 million over two years. Brogdon to Indiana for $85 million over four years. Bojan Bogdanovic to Utah for $73 million over four years. 


Other shrug-worthy signings: Ricky Rubio to the Suns for $51 million over three years. Derrick Rose to the Pistons for $15 million over two years. 


Some free agents remaining, as of Monday afternoon: Demarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Marcus Morris, Enes Kanter, Rajon Rondo, Kelly Oubre. With Kyrie officially out of Boston, let’s remember this soundbite one last time: “If you guys will have me back, I plan on resigning here.” And this commercial, which insinuates his jersey will one day be hanging in the rafters at the Boston Garden.


What are the chances Andre Iguodala ever plays a game in Memphis? Hopefully, none. The Warriors traded him last night to free up money for D'Angelo Russell. Iggy must have seen the end, because he went on the Breakfast Club last week and said the Warriors' misdiagnosed his and KD's injuries; that Mark Jackson was being blackballed; and plenty of other interesting things. 

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