NBA Free Agency

Boston Celtics reportedly the ‘strong frontrunner’ for Kemba Walker

An ESPN report on Thursday morning solidified the murmuring that had previously linked Kemba Walker to the Celtics, calling Boston the “strong frontrunner.”

Anyone who was on the “Free Kemba Walker” bandwagon has had their wishes granted.

Kyrie Irving is on his way out of Boston, and it appears the Celtics are acting quickly to find their next All-Star-caliber starting guard. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter Thursday morning that Boston was the “strong frontrunner” for Walker’s services in free agency, which officially opens June 30 at 3 p.m. ET.

“Barring an unforeseen change of events here, Kemba Walker is going to leave Charlotte,” Wojnarowski says in the clip above. “He’s going to head to Boston, where with Kyrie Irving on his way out, Boston is poised now to replace one All-Star point guard with a three-time All-Star point guard in Kemba Walker.”

Wojnarowski also noted the connections Walker has to the Northeast, having grown up in the Bronx, New York, and played college basketball at the University of Connecticut. He’s built a legacy in Charlotte but the team has not been able to surround him with a winning core.

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On draft night, Boston simultaneously recouped some of the assets they’ve spent over the past few years and freed cap space. By trading Aron Baynes and taking two first-round picks onto their roster rather than three, the Celtics got closer to the $32.7 million they will need for the first year of Walker’s new max contract. The last move left is to simply renounce Terry Rozier’s bird rights and allow him to enter unrestricted free agency.

Boston will then be able to offer Walker a full four-year, $141 million max contract. This is less than the “super-max,” (or Designated Player Extension) available to Walker from the Hornets, which would have totaled

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