I think this is more of a positive sign than a negative one but he will be an UFA as of June 30 so in that, he can sign anywhere. He may well test the market or look for a team more likely to contend. I would. He can also wait to see what Kyrie and others do.
I don't see it as the end of the world if he leaves. If we sign him at say $23, is that really the best possible way to spend that money? Even if a good deal now, how about in 3 years?
We lost out on Anthony Davis. That is the big blow. I like Horford but not overly concerned either way now that it looks like we are going to lose Kyrie. If Kyrie does re-sign, I would see it as more important to keep Al. We would have no money to replace Al if we sign Kyrie so losing him would mean losing the salary slot.
Yeah, it pretty much is the best way to spend that money. Most importantly, whether Al gets $18 million a year or $23 million a year, the Celtics probably have an identical roster for the next three years, because those extra dollars wonít matter for cap or tax purposes, even in year 3.
Under about $18 million, there are options where the Cís now have cap room more than the MLE, up to $27 million according to Bobby marks. Itís not very hard to get up to a max player from $27 million. But what max player is going to come here? Do you risk losing Horford, because he decides to look elsewhere while you wait, and missing out on that player when he chooses a different team? With Jaylenís rookie deal ending, there wonít be max space to carry over to next season if you miss out this year.
So in that case, where you miss out on the max player, you get 2-3 players who make a combined total of $27 million. This compares to a world in which you keep Al, resign one of Rozier and Morris, and use the MLE and BAE, also for near $27 million.
Unless youíre positive thereís a younger guy waiting for you to offer him a max deal, then you absolutely pay the money to keep Al, because there is no better way to spend it.