Philadelphia 76ers: 3 reasons not to trade Al Horford

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Philadelphia 76ers
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Backup Center

By far the biggest reason the Philadelphia 76ers shouldn’t trade Al Horford is because of his role as a backup center.

While certified Embiid stans like yours truly will take offense when people call The Processed One injury prone, he does miss a smidge more time than you’d like to see from a franchise cornerstone. So with that in mind, any team built around Embiid has to have an above-average backup plan on their roster for those games when he’s unable to go due to finger injury, face injury, illness, rest days, Shirley Temple withdrawal, etc.

Is there a better backup center in the NBA than Al Horford?

Even when Embiid is at full strength, Horford spends quite a bit of his 31.1 minutes of action a night playing at the five-spot, oftentimes paired up with Ben Simmons in a smaller ball lineup. If the 76ers were to trade Horford, they’d likely have to pull off a second move to secure a legit backup center capable of starting in Embiid’s absence, kicking to play the four at times, and have the right skill set to play fast in a Simmons-plus-shooters lineup.

There are very few players with that skill set in the NBA right now, and that player will probably cost a ton if he’s even available at all.

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Is Al Horford a perfect fit with the Philadelphia 76ers? No. Is he going to be on this team in two, three, four years? Your guess is as good as mine, but barring a truly transcendent trade offer, it feels like an inevitability that he will still have a home in Philly post-All-Star break. If Philly can add one more shooter at the deadline and continues to get production out of Furkan Korkmaz, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle, that wouldn’t be the worst-case scenario.