Latest Boston Celtics rumor now eyeing the possibility of landing free agent point guard Kemba Walker after eight seasons in Charlotte.
With the soon-to-be free agency departures of both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, in combination with trading away Aron Baynes to the Phoenix Suns, the Boston Celtics have cleared roughly over $30 million in cap space. That is step one in a team’s retooling when losing two of their best players in a single off-season.
Kemba Walker has found himself in the latest Celtics free agency rumor with reports revealing the C’s as an emerging contender to land Walker this off-season.
Walker, 29, had a career-year in his 82-game season, averaging 25.6 points with 4.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. 43.4 percent from the field, 35.6 percent from three, and 84.4 percent from the line were the shooting splits in his year eight season.
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That’s now been eight career seasons in the NBA that have been completely and utterly thrown to waste for an organization that is both incompetent and incapable of providing their franchise player with any sort of supporting cast.
Walker averaged 19.8 points with 3.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists through his eight-season tenure as a member of Charlotte basketball. A tenure in which Kemba managed to reach various franchise milestones such as breaking the Dell Curry record for most points scored (12,009), three-point field goals (1,283) and even minutes played (20,607).
No doubt Kemba Walker grew to be Mr. Charlotte Hornet. However, the time has come at 29 years old, in which Walker needs to decide whether or not he wants to move on and play for contention, not low tier organization records.
With that being said, Kemba Walker faces a tough decision in the coming weeks with the opening of the NBA free agent market opening. Walker’s milestone achievement, earning All-NBA Third Team honors opens up the opportunity for Walker to sign a super max deal worth roughly $221 million through five years, exclusively with Micheal Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets. A contract that would make him the highest-paid player in basketball today.
However, if Kemba Walker would decide to depart from the Hornets, who haven’t won a playoff series since 2002, he could sign a four-year deal worth nearly $190 million.
The primary issue with the outlook from many perspectives is “how can the Boston Celtics replace Kyrie Irving?”.
Well, do they really need to?
Did the Boston Celtics have any sort of noteworthy success involving Kyrie Irving’s presence on the floor?
As far as I’m concerned, the last “leader” that we saw uplifting the TD Garden and actually delivering an impactful contribution in big-time moments was 5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas. Infamously named Boston’s own “King of the Fourth”, and with good reason.
With the being said, this isn’t an attempt to claim Isaiah Thomas is better than Kyrie Irving. It just goes to show that, perhaps it takes more than just skill to lead a team to a title. Kyrie will easily go down as perhaps the greatest finisher that the sport of basketball has ever seen, easily the best ball handler in the game.
Nevertheless, that all shows to be meaningless when you’re called upon to deliver in big moments, and you fall drastically short in doing so.
Shining a star of his own
There’s no question that Walker is perhaps one of the NBA’s most under appreciated players today.
Last season, the Boston Celtics got a first-hand view of the damage Walker can cause, lighting up opponents on the floor via his hot shooting hand. In four games played against the Boston Celtics last season, Walker averaged 30.3 points while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 43.9 percent from the outside.
Again, it was a career-season for Walker last year in points, assists, rebounds, and even steals. He’s earned three All-Star Game honors and on average has played 79 games in the past four seasons. That’s growth and consistency in both performance and health.
A local legend from back in his days at UConn, perhaps a perfect landing spot to build a name in Boston?
Time can only tell.