Philadelphia 76ers: Would anyone actually trade for Al Horford?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Philadelphia 76ers
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Al Horford for Goran Dragic and Kelly Olynyk

The first deal that technically fits the mold for an Al Horford trade involves a team the Philadelphia 76ers could very well face off against in the playoffs come April: The Miami Heat.

After finishing out Dwyane Wade‘s farewell tour fittingly in Philly last spring, the Heat took drastic, Elton Brand-esque steps to reshape their franchise, and transition from a win-by-committee model to the tried and true method of building around a single, franchise-caliber star.

The star in question was none other than Jimmy Butler.

More from Philadelphia 76ers

You all know what went down to get Butler to South Beach by now, the Heat pulled off a four-team trade that shipped Hassan Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers, Sixers draftee Moe Harkless to the Clippers, Josh Richardson to Philly, and the dynamic duo of Meyers Leonard and Jimmy G. Buckets to Miami. But what you may not know is that since shipping Whiteside out-of-town, Bam Adebayo has transformed from a mid-lottery pick undersized center out of Kentucky into one of the flashiest rim runners this side of Montrezl Harrell.

But for the most part, the Heat have struggled to find consistent production out of the four spot.

Between Leonard and Boston-import Kelly Olynyk – a pair of stretch fives typically tasked with playing down alongside Adebayo or each other – the Heat are averaging about 13.7 points a game from the power forward position – 1.4 points more than Horford is averaging as the Sixers’ fifth offensive option in 9.4 more minutes of action.

Horford would instantly elevate the Heats’ starting five with a legit-talented stretch four, and would allow the team to kick him inside when Bam needs a break.

And for their part? Well, the Sixers would likely be able to garner the Heats’ converted sixth man Goran Dragic and Olynyk for their efforts.

After spending the better part of the last five years as a starting point guard for the Suns and the Heat – the NBA’s ‘Hottest’ teams (yikes) – Dragic has surrendered his starting spot to UDFA rookie Kendrick Nunn in a regular changing of the guards, if you will.

But that doesn’t mean Dragic is washed in the South Beach sun – far from it.

On the season, G Drag is averaging 15.8 points in 28.7 minutes of action while hitting 40 percent of his career-high 5.5 3 point attempts a game. If inserted into the Sixers’ starting five, presumably at the two for Ben Simmons‘ All-Star consideration, Gragic could give the Sixers yet another ball-handling option, a second unit leader, and a proven veteran Brett Brown can confidently give the keys to the offense to in crucial fourth-quarter segments.

And as for Olynyk? Well, the team really doesn’t have a 3 point shooter at the five-spot behind Embiid, so Kelly could prove an ideal addition to Simmons-only lineups.

Would both teams do this deal? Eh, maybe, it does make sense for all parties involved, but I imagine the Heat would be at least a bit wary of taking on Al Horford’s massive contract for Goran Gragic’s expiring deal and Kelly Olynyk’s 2020-21 player option, even if the value is there.