Finding a buyer for Kemba Walker this offseason will undoubtedly prove difficult. Still, that doesn’t mean the Boston Celtics won’t try.
Brian Robb of Mass Live recently reported that the Cs are planning to explore moving the quadruple All-Star into a trade this summer. The reason is that removing Walker’s $ 36 million base salary for 2021-2022 would help create “some current and future salary flexibility and reduce what is currently defined as the highest tax bill in the world. team history (if the team wants to re-sign Fournier for market value).
The majority of would-be contenders would likely scoff at that prize attached to an aging, undersized point guard with knee issues like Walker. however, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report thinks he’s identified at least one lottery team that might actually bite the idea of adding the 31-year-old to their roster.
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Celtics’ business proposition ships Kemba to Chicago
The Celtics struck a trade with the Chicago Bulls on the trade deadline last March, shipping Daniel Theis to Windy City. Now Swartz is calling on the two franchises to strike another deal, one that would give the Celtics a point guard 10 years younger than Walker, among a handful of other plays. Looked:
- Boston Celtics Receive:
- G Coby White
- PG Tomas Satoransky
- F Al-Farouq Aminu
“A first-round playoff exit means the Celtics are clearly not ready to compete for a title just yet, so trading Walker for White resets the timeline,” Swartz wrote. “White, 21, averaged 16.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists and made 37.4% of his three in 54 starts. Boston saves around $ 10 million in trading and takes them out of Walker’s contract, a contract that could look very bad if his knee continues to get worse.
White, the No.7 overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft, has been a name easily linked to the Celtics in recent weeks. In fact, Swartz’s colleague Andy Bailey recently cooked up a proposal from Marcus Smart that also shipped White to Boston.
As for the actual fit, White would give the Cs an intriguing young talent in the backcourt. Yes, there are still questions as to whether Whites can serve as a true playmaker in the NBA. That said, the nascent ball-handling skills of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown would help allay those worries, allowing White to do what he does best, attacking the rim and serving as a catch-and-shoot player.
Why bulls might be interested
One wonders why Chicago would be willing to accept not only Walker’s contract but also the other baggage he brings (age, injuries, and deterioration in production). However, Swartz believes the recent changes to Chicago’s roster indicate a team in a win-now mode, making them much more likely to jump into a proven commodity in the commercial market.
“In trading for Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls have indicated that they are clearly trying to win now. Having always missed the 2021 playoffs, the addition of Walker would put the Bulls in a playoff lock next year, ”he proclaimed. “Although he struggled with knee issues throughout the year, Walker looked like his all-Star in the second half of the season. In his nine regular season games, the 31-year-old averaged 25.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.1 steals and shot 42.7% on three.
While we saw glimpses of the first Kemba later in the season, it’s hard to overlook his horrific playoff performance and say he’s undoubtedly back to his old self. In three games against the Nets in the Celtics’ first-round loss of the series, Walker averaged 12.6 points and 4.0 assists, while shooting just 31.7 percent from the field and 17 , 6% appalling at 3 points.
Despite these drawbacks, Walker remains a viable playmaker in the league – even if his production doesn’t quite match his contract. In reality, his output is still probably far greater than the kind of assets Boston would receive for Walker in the trade market. Because of this, it’s hard to see the Celtics leave the veteran this summer.
Then again, if the Walker’s acquisition helps convince Zach LaVine to re-sign with the Bulls, as Swartz thinks, Boston may well receive an offer intriguing enough worthy of pulling the trigger.