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Pistons were mystery team that met with Al Horford, but are out of the running

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The Pistons were able to meet with one of the best free agents on the market, but they were unable to convince him to sign.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons were, in fact, the much-reported "mystery team" that met with Al Horfordaccording to Marc Stein and other media sources.

Horford reportedly met with the Wizards, Celtics, Hawks, Rockets and the Pistons. On mid-day Saturday, Horford's choices were down to the Wizards and Celtics. The Hawks signed Dwight Howard but are still reportedly interested in bringing Horford back while the Pistons signed Jon Leuer when it was apparent they were out of the running on Horford.

Horford would have been the most high-profile free agent to agree with the Pistons in recent memory. He would have possibly reaped great rewards but would have been a huge risk. He would have commanded a full max deal for four years and is already 30 years old. In year four the Pistons would have been paying Horford more than $30 million and he might have clearly been in decline then.

The move also would have necessitated a trade of existing players to make room for Horford, probably Aron Baynes.

Leuer is a more traditional reserve big man, and he can hit 3-pointers and play both the power forward and center position.