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Could Al Horford Opt Out And Sign Team-Friendly Deal With Celtics?

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston Celtics are in for a wild offseason. And it's not just about Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis.

Make no mistake, Irving and Davis will be the focus. Given their cap situation, the Celtics really don't have much of an option other than offering Irving a max contract and hope that he takes it. And since Danny Ainge has been enamored with Davis since he was just a baby Brow at Kentucky, those trade rumors will resurface in a few weeks.

But if the Celtics need a little help getting out of the cap space corner, they could turn to the man they've asked to do just about everything over the last three years: Al Hoford. The 32-year-old glue guy has a player option for the 2019-20 season worth north of $30 million, and most would say he'd be pretty foolish to walk away from a $30 million annual salary. But according to The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett, Horford would be willing to take a bit of an annual discount to sign a longer-term deal to remain in Boston:

The Celts still have to find out what Al Horford wants to do. The veteran can opt out of the approximately $29 million he has coming next year, and, according to a league source, Horford would like to stay. The source added that he'd take a more team-friendly number for next season if he can get two more years tacked on. 

As of now, however, the Celtics have yet to engage in any talks with Horford or his representation.

It makes sense for both parties. Horford would get some added job security in a place he likes, and the Celtics would get a little bit of wiggle room for depth moves. Even if Horford opts out and signs elsewhere, the Celtics still wouldn't have the money or cap space to go make a big free agent splash, unless they renounce the rights to Irving, Horford and Aron Baynes, who also has a player option for next season. That won't happen. And if talks fall apart with Irving, having Horford on a smaller annual salary for a few extra years would give Boston a veteran player to help with their likely youth movement, and potentially make him more attractive in a trade.

This summer could go a number of ways after a disappointing 2018-19 season for the Celtics. But it's nice to hear that one of their veteran leaders would like to stick around, and possibly at a discount.

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