Kings Free Agency Target Profile: Al Horford
Welcome to KHTK’s Kings free agency profiles! Here we’ll be breaking down some of the top players the Kings should target in free agency, analyzing their career numbers, fit with the Kings and potential downsides. We’ll also assign a priority score to each player, signifying how strongly the Kings should consider pursuing a given free agent.
Considered one of the best all-around centers in the NBA, there are few teams that wouldn’t be wiling to pay for 33-year-old NBA veteran Al Horford’s services. The question is, how much money is he worth?
Horford is coming off his ninth NBA season. He averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. There isn’t much Horford doesn’t do well. He’s also not elite in any one area either.
Horford has only gotten better as the center position has adapted from low-post presence to floor-stretcher. His 36 percent three-point shooting on 3.0 attempts per game makes him versatile on the offensive end of the floor. He was also top-five in defensive win shares during the playoffs.
The Sacramento Kings are in desperate need of a good-at-everything big man. They need a player that rebounds, protects the rim, and spaces the floor on the offensive end. Horford does all of that and then some.
The Kings were horrific on the defensive glass last season. Horford allowed fewer second-chance points per game last season than major names like Karl Anthony-Towns, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Talk about a near-perfect partner for Marvin Bagley in the frontcourt. Horford can space the floor when Bagley works on the block, and post up when he’s on the perimeter. He’s not a lights-out shooter by any means, but a 54 percent career effective field goal percentage does the job.
The Kings have cash to spend, but they can’t just go throwing it around like it’s monopoly money. Horford is an excellent talent, but according to multiple reports, he is expecting a four-year, $112 million dollar contract somewhere this summer. That would be a yearly salary of $28 million until Horford is 37-years old assuming all four years are guaranteed.
It’s not so much the dollar amount that is concerning. That kind of financial commitment for a player who is well past his prime, jockeying for his final major contract before hanging up his sneakers, is a significant risk. Horford’s numbers and efficiency would drop off each year in all likelihood. There’s a very real chance that the Kings would be overpaying for two underwhelming years, right as the young core is coming into their prime.
The fit is great. The price tag is not. There’s no denying that Horford’s immediate effect could be monumental for the Kings, who are desperately trying to end their long playoff drought in an extremely stacked Western Conference. It’s a gamble, but Sacramento can finally afford to sit at the table and roll the dice.
Priority Score: 6/10