B/R states Al Horford is the lone starter the Boston Celtics could replace

It appears as though the Boston Celtics could consider keeping Al Horford for the 2022-23 season. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
It appears as though the Boston Celtics could consider keeping Al Horford for the 2022-23 season. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics have had their good fortunes from the second half of the season roll on over into this year’s playoffs, as they just managed to knock off the star-studded Brooklyn Nets in four games and, in turn, are now preparing to take on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in this highly anticipated second-round matchup.

Simply put, since the turn of the calendar year, this C’s squad has been one of the best teams in the entire league, and their starting five of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III has been a major reason why.

Be it on offense or defense, this first five spearheaded the charge during the C’s midseason turnaround and, as a result, they wound up finishing with the best overall NET rating from January 1st on (12.7).

We at HH couldn’t be more enamored with this lineup, and can’t wait to see what else they have in store as they look to attain this year’s Larry O’Brien trophy.

With this, however, while they’ve been tremendous during these past few months, this is not to say that their main group couldn’t somehow be improved with a few tweaks here and there– especially when it comes to looking beyond this current campaign–and, according to the folks at Bleacher Report, Horford could be argued as being the one player that could be replaced.

Now, to his credit, writer Zach Buckley did go on to compare the hypothetical dissolution of this year’s Boston Celtics starting five to “traveling back in time to break up The Beatles”, but he would follow this up by stating that, due to his age coupled with his high-end salary, the 35-year-old power forward seems to fit the bill as perhaps the only starter the team could, in theory, think about replacing this summer:

"He is the oldest member of Boston’s first five and, by net differential at least, the least productive (plus-4.1, worst among Celtics starters). His contract also happens to feature the easiest escape clause, as only $14.5 million of his $26.5 million salary for next season is fully guaranteed.If the Celtics split from Horford this offseason, they could either promote from within (Grant Williams and Daniel Theis are capable candidates) or search for a combo forward with better mobility and a more reliable three-ball (Horford shot just 33.6 percent from range this season)."

Quite frankly, we’re not all that opposed to having Al Horford be replaced with the starting lineup come next year should the Boston Celtics not hoist banner No. 18 into the rafter by then. That said, by no means are we under the impression that they should part ways with him.

In 2021-22, the veteran has had truly one of the most memorable seasons of his entire career (at least, from a fan’s perspective).

Though his counting stats of 10.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.3 blocks may not be the most mesmerizing of his career, many of his advanced stats (blocks percentage, defensive box plus-minus, and 2-point percentage) rank within the top two marks of his career while his leadership (who can forget him hugging Jaylen Brown in Game 4 against Brooklyn?!) has simply proven to be invaluable to this talented, yet still rather young Celtics team.

To us, Big Al has proven to be one of the most underrated contributors for this team since January and by all means deserves the right to stay put come 2022-23 should he want to.

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