8 Worst free agent signings in Philadelphia 76ers history

Philadelphia 76ers Logo (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for PGD Global)
Philadelphia 76ers Logo (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for PGD Global) /
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3. Al Horford

We have finally made it to the top 3 worst free agent signings in Philadelphia 76ers franchise history. Locked in at number 3 is Al Horford. Everyone should remember this contract as a mere three years ago, the Sixers took a flyer on Horford.

Horford was a star player at the University of Florida and was on the loaded Gators team with Joakim Noah, and Corey Brewer, and coached by Billy Donovan. Florida won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007 and Horford was arguably the best player on those teams. Coming off the second Championship, Horford entered the NBA draft and was selected 3rd overall by the Atlanta Hawks.

In Atlanta, Horford immediately made an impact and during his 9-year tenure there, he started every game he was available to play for the Hawks minus 4 during his rookie season. Horford averaged anywhere between 10 and 18 points per game and consistently had close to 10 rebounds per game every season in Atlanta. He also made three All-Star games and helped the Hawks receive a 1-seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs during the 2014-15 season.

The next stop for Horford was Boston. With the Celtics, Horford continued being a reliable starting center and the team reached back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals in his first two seasons. When matched up against the Sixers, Horford played great defense against the up-and-coming superstar, Joel Embiid, and certain media referred to Horford as the ‘Embiid-stopper’.

Signing Horford as a free agent in the summer of 2019 felt like a big win for the Sixers. Not only did they improve their frontcourt and find a quality veteran to pair with Embiid, but they also kept the Celtics from re-signing a player that was a main cog in their rotation the prior three seasons. Horford’s contract with the Sixers was a bloated 4-year, $109 million which definitely felt like a lot at the time, but just wait. Looking back on it now, it feels way worse.

Horford only played one season with the Philadelphia 76ers and was not the player we expected. He did not fit alongside Embiid and the lane was always clogged. His shooting percentage fell from 53.5% in his last season in Boston to 45% in Philly. We paid what looked like a washed-up center $26.25 million and were more than happy that Oklahoma City took his contract off our hands. The problem is now Horford is back with Boston and looks as if he never left.