I love Kemba Walker. I went from wanting the Celtics to move up and draft him in 2011 to hoping one day the Celtics sign or trade for him. At the time, the circumstances made it so it was the best alternative to having nothing when Kyrie Irving left, and for that I thank him.
It’s no secret that Kemba has been nothing less than damaged goods and a fraction of who he once was. Make no mistake, Walker has definitely had some poor offensive performances, but he deserves all the praise in the world for putting his body on the line each time he goes out there. Approaching the end of his contract, set to make $34+ million next season. If the Celtics want to win, it will cost them Kemba Walker.
Trading Kemba Walker
The Celtics don’t HAVE to trade Kemba Walker, ideally, he finishes out this contract and resigns a heavily discounted deal to stay with Boston and serve as the sixth man and contributing to a championship team built around Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
If the Celtics do look to trade Kemba, here’s what they should do…
Trade #1: Hail Mary
Clippers receive: Kemba Walker
Celtics receive: Kawhi Leonard
It seems that Paul George isn’t the running mate that Kawhi Leonard signed up for and if he wants out, a sign-and-trade for Kemba Walker would provide both players a fresh start in a big market. Kawhi can force his way onto a team with two all-stars, the same way James Harden did.
Level of Likelihood: 2/10
Trade #2: Everybody wins
Pelicans receive: Kemba Walker, Marvin Bagley III
Kings receive: Evan Fournier (S&T), Steven Adams
Celtics receive: Harrison Barnes, Lonzo Ball (S&T), Maurice Harkless
Kemba Walker would provide the Pelicans with a scoring point guard to add to the offensive game of Zion and Brandon Ingram. Bagley gives the Pelicans even more mobility and athleticism in the paint. The Kings get shooting from Evan Fournier, bolstering their offense in addition to having DeAaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Tyrese Haliburton. The Pelicans reportedly are looking to move Adams and I think the Kings are potential suitors as the Marvin Bagley experience hasn’t exactly panned out. The Celtics have been searching for the playmaker that can fill the Gordon Hayward size hole, Harrison Barnes and Lonzo Ball are those guys. They will immediately improve the Celtics bench unit and put the Celtics among the top teams in the Eastern Conference
Level of Likelihood: 3/10
Trade #3: Bulls get desperate
Celtics receive: Coby White, Lauri Markkanen
Bulls receive: Kemba Walker, 2023 top-20 protected first round pick
The Bulls have the issue of too many young guys with contracts coming up, here’s where the Celtics come into help. Kemba Walker gives Chicago a ‘win now’ point guard that can slide in alongside Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic to see what LaVine needs if they plan to build around him. Boston gets two promising players to help boost their second unit.
Level of Likelihood: 4/10
There aren’t too many deals out there for Kemba Walker that wouldn’t leave a poor taste in your mouth. It’s rare when the team looking to unload an unfavorable contract, comes out on the winning end. Ultimately, it may be best to hold on to Kemba and try to repurpose his skills to better fit the Jays.