Brand on Horford: ‘We have gained a championship-level teammate’

Al Horford to the 76ers has become official, the team announced today. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $109 million deal.

For the 76ers, this is an opportunity to build on what they did last season. Philadelphia was a few bounces away from possibly moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals, and based on what happened to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, Philadelphia could have easily won an NBA title last season.

“We’re excited to welcome one of the NBA’s best front-court players in Al Horford to Philadelphia,” said 76er GM Elton Brand. “He has built his reputation around hard work and a tradition of winning, which are the same qualities that have formed the foundation of the 76ers. Al’s playmaking, elite defensive talents, and veteran leadership confirm why he is a crucial addition to our roster. We have gained a championship-level teammate that will not only complement our current makeup but will help grow our young core as we strive for the highest level of success.”

Last season, the five-time All-Star appeared in 68 games (all starts) for Boston and posted 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game, joining NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only two players in the league to hold such averages.

The acquisition of Horford, 33, does two things for the 76ers. First, it weakens the Boston Celtics. Horford did a great job against Joel Embiid. Also, it allows Embiid to learn from a 12-year veteran, who is a consummate professional.

The time is now for the 76ers, and by re-signing Tobias Harris, acquiring Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler, and bringing in Horford. Philadelphia is looking to win a championship next season.

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