AL Horford
Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2019 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, May 6, 2019. Getty Images/Maddie Meyer

The Boston Celtics have been linked to several players in the NBA free agent market, in play for players like Anthony Davis and Clint Capela. However, the C’s may want to be careful and check out their current roster and make sure that some notable names don’t end up leaving. One of them includes Al Horford.

Acquired back in 2016, Horford remains one of the vital players that team president Danny Ainge can count on. And while the Celtics had that unfortunate exit during the 2018-19 NBA playoffs, it remains that he is someone that head coach Brad Stevens can count on for the next couple of years. According to Ainge, Horford has not been overlooked and that the 33-year-old is one of the priorities by the Celtics this summer, reported.

Horford is likely to opt in the $30.1 million option in the final year of his contract. However, there is that possibility that he could be given a restructured deal and more money. For the Celtics, this would make his the team’s luxury tax bill smaller and help them in their pursuit for additional players in the NBA offseason, Yahoo Sports reported. But assuming the Celtics successfully lure in either Davis or Capella, how would this impact the playing time and role of the five-time NBA All-Star?

At 33, Horford is undoubtedly nearing the twilight stages of his career. And while most are left with the impression that the third overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft is likely to stay on, one cannot discount the possibility of him weighing options and also monitoring the players the Boston is trying to reel in. Capella, someone that has gotten his share of attention after the Rockets said that a shakeup will be happening, pales in terms of performance. However, the 25th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft is younger and still has the time to improve his game.

Whoever the Celtics successfully picks up this summer could prove pivotal for Horford. There are concerns on how a Horford-Davis or even a Horford-Capella tandem would pan out. And while he reiterated he would love to stay in Bean Town, it also cannot be discounted that Boston may eventually use the 33-year-old as trade bait. A lot depends on how the restructuring phase turns out for the Celtics – meaning it will be an equally busy summer for Ainge and Bradford.