The Philadelphia 76ers may be about to lose their best shooter to the Miami Heat after reaching an agreement for a sign-and-trade deal that will see Jimmy Butler move to Miami with Josh Richardson arriving in the City of Brotherly Love. But they are ensuring to strengthen the squad in order to build on their playoff semifinals appearance this past season.

Al Horford opted out of his deal with the Boston Celtics and became an unrestricted free agent on June 30 and despite having multiple suitors, the power forward/center has not wasted any time in deciding his next destination. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that he will join the Sixers on a four-year max contract worth $109 million, of which $97 million is guaranteed and a further $12 million tied to championships.

The 2007 third overall pick was an important player for the Celtics, but they were unwilling to match the player’s demands in free agency forcing him to look to other teams to offer him a deal close to his four-year $112 million demand. It is believed the player’s agent held talks with Celtics about a new deal but their valuations were too far apart to reach an agreement.

The five-time All-Star is considered the most underrated player in the NBA and will provide the Sixers benefits on both ends of the court. One player who will be delighted to see Horford in Philadelphia will be Sixers center Joel Embiid, who was tormented by the forward in the last two seasons when Embiid faced the Celtics. The 33-year-old veteran, who is a risk in terms of his age, averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.3 blocks per night while shooting 53.5 percent from the field.

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

Meanwhile, the 76ers managed to hold on to Tobias Harris, who arrived from the Los Angeles Clippers before the trade deadline earlier this year. They have reached an agreement for a five-year max contract worth $180 million – a high price to ensure one half of their shooting team stays in Philadelphia. Apart from Butler, they also lost J.J Reddick, who agreed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.