The Celts are probably a lottery team without Al, so hopefully he comes back at a reasonable figure.
All the reporting sounds pretty positive in that regard though.
They're not a contender with him at this point either.
Results are the same regardless.
They aren't the same though. It's true that the Celts aren't a contender whether or not Horford returns.
However, the goal for the team right now is to develop Tatum and Brown. We want to have the best version of those guys.
My feeling is those players, and the other young guys, are more likely to succeed and develop well if the team has a stable structure in place. Horford provides that structure, on court and off the court.
If Horford leaves, that throws a lot of things into flux, including the team's game plan on offense and defense. I would expect all the players on the team, including Tatum and Brown, to struggle to figure out how to adjust to such a scenario.
Bottom line, name of the game now is maximizing the young players the Celts have on the roster. Having Horford in place will help that.