How the Sixers outdealt the Nets
Horford is the answer, Kyrie the question mark to the teams’ title hopes
BY DAVID THORPE
Art by Mike McGrath, Jr. Instagram: @michaelmcgrathjr Twitter: @mikemcgrath
We’d been saying it for a while: When Joel Embiid was off the court, the Sixers just weren’t the same. That can’t be said now. When Philadelphia and free agent Al Horford agreed to a four-year, $109 million deal Sunday night, it made one thing crystal-clear: No one is rolling the Sixers when Embiid is out and Horford is in. It’s one of the biggest reasons the Sixers are one of the three elite teams of the East—two if Kawhi waves goodbye to Canada.
It’s a big contract for someone Horford’s age (33), and there are better players who have agreed to sign elsewhere, but this could be the most meaningful acquisition to a team we’ll see this summer. Yes, more so than the Nets’ hammering out mega-deals with Kevin Durant for four years at $164 million and Kyrie Irving for four years at $141 million. Why? Because there are just too many maybes attached to KD’s torn Achilles and Kyrie’s leadership, red flags…