LOS ANGELES — Al Horford dismissed a USA Today report that the 76ers might try to move him in the offseason.
That’s when Horford will have three years remaining on the $97 million guaranteed deal he signed with the Sixers last July as a free agent. But the five-time All-Star hasn’t been a great fit while playing alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, and USA Today reported last weekend that the Sixers might trade Horford this offseason if they can send his contract to another team in return for shooting.
The Sixers likely would have a tough time moving his contract. Horford’s 11.7-point average is the lowest since he averaged 11.5 for the Atlanta Hawks in 2008-09, his second year in the league.
“All I can say is I am focused on right now,” Horford said in response to the report. “I can’t control speculation. That is a decision they would have to make when the time is right.
“Right now, I am focused on getting some wins for our team.”
On Sunday, Horford finished with 12 points and team-highs of eight rebounds and six assists before fouling out with 4 minutes, 25 seconds left in a 136-130 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers. It was the 33-year-old’s fourth straight game back in the starting lineup because of injuries to Simmons and Embiid.
He was initially demoted from the starting lineup before the Sixers’ Feb. 11 home game against the Clippers. It was the first time Horford hadn’t started in a game since his rookie season for the Hawks (Nov. 21, 2007).
He came off the bench in the Sixers’ next two games, against Brooklyn and Milwaukee. However, the Sixers started Horford against the Hawks on Feb. 24 after Simmons was sidelined with a pinched nerve in his lower back. Two nights later, Embiid left in the first quarter against Cleveland with a sprained left shoulder.
Horford was solid in his first three games back in the lineup, averaging 10.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists.