NBA: Horford signs with 76ers as Harris rejoins, will make formidable front line with Simmons
NEW YORK (AFP) – Five-time National Basketball Association All-Star centre Al Horford signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, as forward Tobias Harris rejoined the team on Wednesday (July 10) to complete deals that were revealed last week.
The moves give the 76ers a powerhouse front line, adding former Boston star Horford as the player who gave returning Philadelphia star centre Joel Embiid the most trouble of any rival next season.
Together with Australian guard Ben Simmons directing the attack, the 76ers figure to challenge the Milwaukee Bucks for supremacy in the Eastern Conference next season.
“We’re excited to welcome one of the NBA’s best front-court players in Al Horford to Philadelphia,” 76ers general manager Elton Brand said. “He has built his reputation around hard work and a tradition of winning, which are the same qualities that have formed the foundation of the 76ers.
“Al’s playmaking, elite defensive talents and veteran leadership confirm why he is a crucial addition to our roster.”
Horford averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.3 blocked shots a game for Boston last season. He hit 53.5 per cent from the floor, his seventh season making most of his shots, a run exceeded among active players only by LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
Dominican Republic native Horford has never missed the play-offs in 12 NBA seasons.
Harris, obtained in a February trade from the Los Angeles Clippers, had career-high averages last season with 20 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game.
“Signing Tobias and solidifying him as a foundational piece of our core for years to come was a top priority for our organisation this summer,” Brand said.
“Tobias is a fierce competitor with a tireless work ethic and embodies all of the qualities of a franchise cornerstone.”
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