Boston Celtics Emerging As Front Runner To Land Kemba Walker
Despite NBA free agency days away, superstar point guard Kyrie Irving already seems primed to abandon Boston’s ship and set sail for Brooklyn this summer. With Irving’s services looking less likely to return next year as each day passes, general manager Danny Ainge reportedly sees free agent Kemba Walker as a potential candidate to fill the void Irving poises to leave behind.
The Boston Celtics have emerged as the frontrunner to sign Charlotte All-Star guard Kemba Walker once free agency opens Sunday at 6 PM ET, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 27, 2019
The Celtics, I’m told, are emerging as a stealth suitor for Charlotte Hornets free agent Kemba Walker
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2019
Walker spent his first eight years as a Charlotte Hornet, and although sources imply the team captained by NBA legend Michael Jordan intends to extend an offer to re–sign the point guard, both sides appear at odds for now amid their contract talks. Walker just concluded his finest year as an NBA player, averaging 25.6 points, 5.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Walker and the Celtics intend to meet almost immediately once free agency commences, as Boston fully intending to keep Walker there until he inks a contract to join the shamrocks. Most throughout the NBA community expect Boston to extend a four–year $141 million dollar deal to Walker, which likely exceeds the figure currently offered from Charlotte. If the three–time All–Star agrees to the deal, which most believe Walker already fully intends to, then he’ll play aside talents such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Although Boston most likely plans to endure a step back talent–wise with big man Al Horford‘s expected departure beside Irving, Walker could play alongside talent at a level never experienced during his time in Charlotte, as Tatum and Brown alone bring forth skills that exceed anyone else’s currently signed to Charlotte’s roster.
The Boston Celtics have emerged as the frontrunner to sign Kemba Walker, per @wojespn
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) June 27, 2019
Helping to negate the cap hit resulting from Walker’s hypothetical max–contract, Boston may follow up acquiring Walker with cutting rising star Terry Rozier, as the team looks to add even more talent this offseason. With loosing Horford simultaneously, Boston’s needs remain unsatisfied despite a potential Walker acquisition. With a starting squad looking to include Walker, Brown, Tatum, and Gordon Hayward, Boston requires a talented center to maintain their power within the Easter Conference. Cap space generated from severing ties withe Rozier presents a chance for the Celtics pursue players such as DeAndre Jordan or Brook Lopez.
Per sources, the Celtics have yet to offer a qualifying offer to Terry Rozier and will probably take it down to the deadline. Obviously the Kemba pursuit impacts this significantly.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 27, 2019
Again, this all remains just speculation however, as Walker cannot entertain offers until the free agency period begins this Sunday, June 30 at 6 p.m. ETS.