Reports: Horford to decline option, leave Celtics

Field Level Media

June 19, 2019 at 12:10 am.

Boston forward Al Horford will turn down his 2018-19 option of $30.1 million and no longer intends to re-sign with the Celtics, multiple media outlets reported late Tuesday.

ESPN and the Boston Herald both reported earlier Tuesday that Horford would opt out with a goal of re-signing with the Celtics on a reworked deal, which would have a lower annual value but include two additional years of security.

However, both outlets reported later Tuesday that Horford and the team are now unable to agree on a new contract, and that Horford will pursue a deal of three or four years elsewhere in free agency.

After he opts out, the 33-year-old will be able to discuss contracts with other teams starting June 30. Players can sign or re-sign contracts beginning July 6.

Horford has spent the last three years in Boston since arriving on a free agent deal from Atlanta, where he played the first nine seasons of his career. The nine-time All-Star averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 68 games for the Celtics last season.

Boston could have a dramatically different look in 2019-2020. With point guard Kyrie Irving expected to leave and Gordon Hayward’s name in the trade rumor mill, the Celtics are in likely to be in the market for key pieces.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge acknowledged discussions took place with the New Orleans Pelicans about Anthony Davis before a trade agreement was reportedly reached with the Los Angeles Lakers last week.