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Celtics, Wizards emerge as frontrunners for Al Horford

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The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards have emerged as frontrunners to acquire Al Horford

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

While it is looking more and more like Al Horford won’t be returning to the Atlanta Hawks, he may not be leaving the Eastern Conference.

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Horford paired down teams on Saturday morning with the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards emerging as frontrunners. Per the report, Atlanta was negotiating a five-year contract with Horford but talks stalled and they moved quickly to secure Dwight Howard and free agent guard Kent Bazemore.

Horford had been negotiating a five-year contract with Atlanta, but talks stalled – and the Hawks moved quickly to sign free agent Dwight Howard and re-sign guard Kent Bazemore.

In the short term, the Hawks appear to be well positioned with Howard handling the center spot next to Paul Millsap. However, Millsap can opt out of his deal at the end of next season and Atlanta will once again face heavy competition for his services.