The Boston Celtics are looking at a pretty big overhaul this offseason. They will have a new head coach, as Brad Stevens is moving into a front-office role, replacing Danny Ainge. Could they have a new starting point guard, as well? Possibly trading Kemba Walker out of town and perhaps in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder?
Walker and the Celtics look like they could be heading for divorce this offseason. He was signed to help replace Kyrie Irving, who departed for the Brooklyn Nets. Things have not gone as smoothly as either side would have hoped.
Walker battled a knee issue during the 2020 Orlando Bubble which required an operation in the offseason. It took him a while to knock off the rust when he returned during the 2020-21 season, but he did show that he can still help a team win some games when he is right. The question is, how much longer can you count on Walker being healthy and productive?
When Walker was injured, Boston was shopping him and took some heat for it. Now that he is healthier, it looks like they will be trying to shop him again. According to NBA Analysis Network’s own Evan Massey, the Oklahoma City Thunder are a team to keep an eye on in the Walker/Celtics split.
Oklahoma City is still in the early stages of its rebuild, so it would not be surprising to see them stockpile more assets should the opportunity arise. While Walker would improve their roster, they would still be a long way away from contending in the Western Conference.
Attaching assets to Walker seems like the only way the Celtics will be able to move on from him unless they just swap big contracts with another team. There could be a market for Walker, though, as multiple teams will be looking to upgrade their point guard positions this summer.
In addition to the aforementioned Thunder, the Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks could all be shopping for point guards this offseason. Whether Kemba Walker fits into any of their plans is another story, but there should be a market for him, especially if a team can get draft pick compensation along with him.