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Celtics Trade Kemba Walker Package to Thunder for Big Men, Cap Room

The Boston Celtics’ season was full of surprises. First, we found out they were no longer good at basketball. We then saw the team completely wiped out, some times due to COVID and other times due to injuries. Later in the season, we saw Jayson Tatum become one of the best players in the NBA, while Kemba Walker looked to be barely above a role player. Of course, the biggest surprise came with Brad Stevens being promoted from head coach to president of basketball operations. Now, Stevens has pulled off a surprising Celtics trade.

Celtics Trade Kemba Walker Package to Thunder

In a random Friday morning “Woj Bomb,” we found out there was a Celtics trade that would send Kemba Walker out the door, bringing in a familiar face.

Instead of Stevens first finding a head coach, he decided he needed to shake up the roster first. He will be sending Walker, the No. 16 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft and a 2025 (really?) second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In exchange, the Thunder will send former Celtic Al Horford back to Boston, along with Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick.

Kemba Walker thunder celtics trade
Credit: MADDIE MEYER/GETTY IMAGES

Celtics + Thunder Trade Analysis

At initial glance, it certainly appears like the Thunder have some dirt on Brad Stevens. It’s similar to offering a low ball fantasy football trade to your uncle who is playing his first fantasy season. Not only did the Thunder get the best player in the trade, in Kemba Walker, Oklahoma City somehow added another first-round pick to their obnoxiously large collection of picks. Should they choose, the Thunder could rebuild their team through trades and the draft immediately this offseason, starting with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the newly-acquired Walker.

Clearly Stevens felt Walker was holding his team back this season, or at least Tatum’s development back, since this is an unusual first decision when there is a head coaching vacancy. Boston acquires familiarity and leadership with Horford, another young post in Brown that proved he can play, and they clear up some cap room. Walker was owed $73M from Boston still.

Who is Stevens targeting with this freed up money, and will that decision also come before the head coach?


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