As the Boston Celtics and Kemba Walker moved toward parting ways, these five teams should call to make a deal.
The Boston Celtics losing to the Brooklyn Nets in five games in the first round of the playoffs wasn’t that surprising. But how quickly changes started was, with news coach Brad Steven moving up to take over for Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations the next day. Naturally, alongside a coaching search, how the roster will look next season has become a big question.
Due to his contract and a knee issue that isn’t going away, Kemba Walker’s trade value is as low as it will ever be. But Bleacher Report’s Farbod Esnaashari has reported the Celtics and Walker want to part ways this offseason. Whether that brings a flood of trade offers is an open question, but at least now there’s no question that the Celtics are willing to listen.
When Walker was available this season, he wasn’t that far from his best. Over 43 regular season games he averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range. A typical offseason to rest his knee will only help looking to next season.
The market for Walker is naturally fairly narrow, due to cap concerns, tradeable assets and where interested teams are on the winning spectrum. But these five teams should be calling the Celtics about a deal for him, if they haven’t already.
5 teams that should trade for Kemba Walker
5. Los Angeles Clippers
With Kawhi Leonard (assuming he doesn’t opt-out this offseason and go elsewhere) and Paul George as their two stars, the Clippers are in win-now mode. But their lack of playmaking and offense beyond George and Leonard is an issue, so adding a point guard and third star like Walker might be on the radar.
The issue for the Clippers is having assets to send back to Boston. Between this year and 2027, they don’t currently own a first-round pick. But they can help the Celtics by sending some depth pieces back in a deal for Walker, and if Boston is motivated to offload his contract their leverage won’t be that great.
PG Kemba Walker
SG Luke Kennard
PG Patrick Beverley
PF Marcus Morris