Boston Celtics

Oct 9, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) controls the ball while Toronto Raptors guard Goran Dragic (1) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Al Horford was at the center of the Celtics’ biggest deal of the offseason, acquired in a trade that sent Kemba Walker and a first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was the first major move for current president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, who was especially close with both players during his time as the team’s head coach.

Speaking with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Friday morning, Stevens spoke about what went into that trade, and his expectations for Horford this season.

That was really difficult. Kemba and Al – I think of you polled people around the league and you said, ‘okay, who are the two of the better player, veteran, older teammates in the league, that are in their 30s?’ everyone would say Kemba and Al,” Stevens said. “So that’s the kind of people that we’re talking about, right? We’re talking about people that teammates enjoy being around, that bring a great attitude to the game, they bring a great attitude to their work.”

Stevens pointed out, as many have since the deal was made, the long-term salary cap implications that will help the team build beyond this year. “As I said before that trade was obviously – it was unbelievable to have a chance to get Al back as part of it,” he explained. “But the baseline of that trade was for having the financial flexibility moving forward.”

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at