KEY POINTS

  • Horford will come off the bench for the first time since 2007
  • Brown could be giving other players a chance to prove themselves
  • Korkmaz could provide Sixers with shooting needed on offense

When the Philadelphia 76ers offered Al Horford a four-year $109-million contract, some were skeptical. Already 33, most felt that the best the NBA veteran would get was a two-year deal. But somehow, the Sixers seemed to have plans for the five-time All-Star. But their latest move hardly aligns with that.

Yahoo Sports reported that Horford will now be coming off the bench in lieu of Turkish swingman Furkan Korkmaz. It will be the first time since 2007 that the veteran big man will be coming off the bench. It was back in November 2007 when Horford was last benched, his rookie season with the Atlanta Hawks. There are several ways to explain this move.

As most know, the Sixers are in dire need of offense, particularly from the outside. He owns a decent 51.6% shooting clip from the field and 39.8% from the three-point region per Basketball-Reference.com. In 53 games, the 22-year-old has played in 53 games averaging 9.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and an assist. Perhaps head coach Brett Brown is trying out something, hoping to get something more out of the young swingman.

For Horford, the setup could be temporary. The fact is that he is coming off an atrocious outing against the Chicago Bulls. He was scoreless and missed all of his shot attempts. This could be Brown's way of giving him some time to recall his old form and preserve him for the NBA playoffs.

“We all get he’s Al Horford,” Brown said, per the Courier Times. “None of us should not understand what he’s capable of doing. And I’ve got to help him achieve it.”

But the reality of it all is that the Sixers are scrambling to find answers. They were unable to land a needed shooter by the NBA trade deadline, a reason why Brown is looking at the personnel he currently has. Horford does have a decent outside shot but Korkmaz looms as a better choice. Also, the fact is that the 6-foot-9 player is better nearer to the basket. With the Sixers, he may be unable to do so with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid playing better inside.

There is no telling if any moves involving Horford will go down this NBA offseason. Seeing how he carries a hefty deal, takers could be limited. For now, it depends on what Brown has in mind for the NBA veteran, something that could be measured by how far their current campaign brings them.