Bleacher Report senior writers Ric Bucher and Howard Beck circled up with host Stephen Nelson to discuss possible destinations for free agent big men Al Horford and Joakim Noah, given the following parameters:
- The team must have space
- The team must provide an on-court and cultural fits
- The player cannot return to their current team
- Likeliness is not factored in, as long as the above constraints are met
Both Beck and Bucher had Horford agreed that he fits with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bucher: "Let's start with him going to the Portland Trail Blazers because of the culture, because they have a lot of athleticism around him, and he doesn’t need to be the leader. So he has some star quality, but he’s happy to fit in, adds a little bit of toughness and grit and mid-range shooting. Meanwhile, you have the athleticism and the length around him to work as rim protectors."
Beck: "I actually went with Portland as my number one option for Al Horford for some of the reasons Rick states. Look, that backcourt is already one of the best in the league with [Damian] Lillard and [CJ] McCollum, they have a lot of holes in the frontcourt and yet they had a phenomenal season playing, I think, a little bit over their heads, but it’s time for them to start fortifying and figure out what the next step forward is so they can try to break into that upper echelon in the west, and Al Horford with his defensive anchoring abilities, some scoring pop up front that they need, rebounding. I think he’s a perfect fit there, and he’s a guy who I think just personality-wise, character, makeup, is going to get along great with that great backcourt and with coach Terry Stotts."
Horford has long been speculatively connected to the Trail Blazers. Watch the video in full to find out where Bucher and Beck place Noah.