Bleacher Report insider Farbod Esnaashari earlier reported, “the Boston Celtics and Walker are likely to move forward from their relationship this offseason.”
It is safe to say the Kemba Walker experiment in Boston has been a failure. Walker first signed to the Boston Celtics on a four-year $141 million contract in June of 2019. At the time, that contract was an overpay, but the Celtics had to overpay to find a replacement for Kyrie Irving, who left for the Brooklyn Nets that offseason. Looking back on that decision, the Celtics made a mistake.
In his first, Walker helped the Celtics make a conference finals appearance, but he struggled in the playoffs. He was inconsistent throughout the Celtics playoff run in the bubble. Season two with the Boston Celtics is potentially Kemba’s worst season. Walker averaged 19.3 points and 4.9 assists per game. On paper, those stats look good, but those stats don’t tell the full story. Walker was consistently bad on defense and not consistent on offense. Not to mention he didn’t gel right with the team.
In the playoffs, it got worst. Kemba averaged just 12.7 points and 4.0 assists per game. His shooting splits were terrible. Walker shot 31% from the field and 17% from three-point range. He was awful on offense and defense. It got to a point where he seemed unplayable.
After losing to the Nets, the Celtics are looking to make some changes to the team, but the Celtics’ hands are tied with Walker’s contract. Walker is set to make $70 million over the next two years with a $36 million player option. With Kemba declining and him having a bad contract, the Celtics are looking to trade him.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has been the primary team linked to a Walker trade. The trade with the thunder would most likely be Al Horford, and a 1st round pick for Kemba Walker. This trade would help the Celtics out as Horford is a serviceable rim protector and a veteran, not to mention he already played for the Celtics. When he was on the Celtics, he got along with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Horford, at the age of 35, knows his role and would fit well in Boston.
Another suitor for Walker could be the Cleveland Cavaliers. In this trade, the Celtics would most likely give up Kemba Walker, Aaron Nesmith, and a 1st round pick for Collin Sexton and Kevin Love. Kevin love has shown his frustration on the Cavs, and rumors have spread that the Cavs might not keep Sexton. This trade would give the Celtics a young guard who can score and a forward who can score and rebound.
Those are just ideas of what the Celtics could do with a Kemba trade. The Celtics can make trades with teams that aren’t in the playoffs. If they were to make a trade, they would have to participate in a trade call with the league to confirm the trade details. Trading Kemba should be the Celtics’ main priority right now.