Al Horford agrees to 2-year, $20 million extension at Celtics

Boston Celtics center Al Horford has agreed a two-year, $20 million contract extension that will tie him to the franchise through his 39th birthday in 2025, his agent Jason Glushon of Glushon Sports Management told ESPN Thursday morning. .

Horford, a five-time All-Star, is completing the final season of a four-year, $109 million contract. Horford will earn $26.5 million this season and the new deal will begin in 2023-24.

The extension eliminates the possibility of a repeat of 2019, when Horford left the Celtics for a more lucrative free agency offer. The potential free agent centers available this summer include Myles Turner of Indiana, Nikola Vucevic of Chicago, Brook Lopez of Milwaukee, Christian Wood of Dallas, and Jakob Poeltl of San Antonio.

Horford experienced a career resurgence in his second run with the Celtics, emerging as an integral part of a championship contender. At 36, he has remained a prolific player and continues to hold great respect in the locker room and in the Boston community.

Horford was most recently an All-Star and second-team All-Defensive team selection in 2018.

Horford’s performance in the NBA Finals a season ago ended the league’s longest playoff streak — 141 postseason games — without winning a conference championship, according to research from ESPN Stats & Information.

Horford has averaged 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in 31 minutes per game this season, anchoring the Celtics’ front line in the absence of injured base player Robert Williams III. Horford has shot 55.5% from the floor and 48.8% on 3-pointers – the third highest percentage among centers, according to ESPN Stats & Info data.

Horford’s Game 1 performance against Golden State made him only the fourth player in the shot-clock era to score 25 points on 75% shooting in a Finals debut, a list that includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

No player contested more shots in the 2022 NBA playoffs — 437 — than Horford, according to Second Spectrum tracking. He is one of five players to contest at least 400 shots in a single postseason since player tracking began a decade ago.

Horford left Boston for Philadelphia on a four-year, $109 million free agent deal in 2019, then landed Oklahoma City in a trade in 2020 before the Celtics reacquired him in 2021.

The No. 3 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, from Florida, Horford played his first nine NBA seasons with the Atlanta Hawks before leaving on a free run for Boston in 2016.

Horford played three years with the Celtics before retiring from the 76ers and Thunder and returning to Boston in 2021.

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