You almost hate to C it.
The Celtics are apparently not thrilled with the way the Sixers' courtship of Al Horford went down, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst (h/t NBC Sports).
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The Celtics were, from what I am told, one of the teams that kind of stomped their feet about what they felt was tampering. Not with Kyrie, although that looked like it was lined up pretty far in advance. But with Horford. What happened with Horford – again, from what I am told – really upset the Celtics, that they were thinking they were going to be able to negotiate with him, talk to him about a new contract, and all of a sudden, it was like he already knew what his market was and was out of there.
Wah, wah and wah.
Danny Ainge would probably claim he almost brought Horford back before those tampering Sixers snatched him up. Horford is a smart guy. Of course his agent assessed his value before June 30. Boston's supposed "Plan A" was bringing in Kemba Walker, something they would've had a hard time doing if they signed Horford to a similar contract then the Sixers did.
Even if GM Elton Brand, a former teammate of Horford's in Atlanta, had contact with the free-agent-to be beforehand, so what? It's just more representative of a broken system. As NBC Sports Kurt Helin points out, it's hypocritical of the Celtics, who clearly had a deal in place with Walker well before free agency began.
It's almost tampering, but it's not.
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