According to a report from Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, talks between Horford and the Celtics have broken down, and the veteran will look to sign elsewhere this summer. This represents a swift change of events after Horford opted out of the final year of his current contract, but was reportedly interested in signing a new long-term deal to stay with the Celtics.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported early on Tuesday that Horford will not exercise his $30.1 million player option for the 2019-20 NBA season in favor of unrestricted free agency. Wojnarowski later confirmed Bulpett’s report that Horford and Boston are unlikely to reach a deal.
Following the Celtics’ unceremonious exit from the conference semifinals at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, Horford said that he has enjoyed his time in Boston, but hasn’t had much of an opportunity to think about his future past that.
“It’s something that I haven’t even stopped to think about,” Horford said of his future, via Mass Live. “I’ve enjoyed being here in Boston. Just have to wait and see what we’re going to do as a team. And it’s steps that the management is going to do moving forward, and continue to get better.”
Considering the lofty expectations facing the team when the season started, Horford was understandably disappointed with how the Celtics’ 2018-19 campaign turned out.
“We all expected more from each other and from this group. I do believe that we gave all we had. Things just didn’t go our way,” Horford said. “We had an up-and-down season all year and, in the playoffs, we got off to a good start, and then for whatever reason we weren’t able to recover. Obviously that’s disappointing and it hurts because we were trying to do it for Boston, for our fans, and obviously we’re disappointed. We came up way short.”
Horford’s decision to move on from the Celtics comes during a tumultuous summer for the club. They lost out on Anthony Davis, who was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and it appears that Kyrie Irving will sign elsewhere as well.