The Celtics are moving on from Kemba Walker and his hefty contract.
Boston reportedly is sending Walker, the 16th overall pick in in this year’s draft and a 2025 second-rounder to Oklahoma City, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday morning. The Thunder in exchange will deliver Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick to the C’s.
Walker is not likely to be in OKC’s long-term plans. Wojnarowski followed up with a report that the Thunder will work with the 31-year-old on his next step, similar to what the organization did with Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony in years past.
After spending the first eight seasons of his NBA career in Charlotte, Walker took his talents to Boston via sign-and-trade in early July of 2019. The four-time All-Star inked a four-year, $141 million deal as he shifted to the Celtics, of which he still is owed $73 million, per Wojnarowski.
Whether injuries or just plain ineffectiveness is most to blame, Walker was widely considered a letdown in Boston. He was even linked to a rumored trade with the San Antonio Spurs for LaMarcus Aldridge at one point, before the 35-year-old big man was waived by the Spurs in March.
Horford returns to Boston after brief stints with the Thunder and the Philadelphia 76ers, with whom he signed a four-year $97 million deal following a three-season run with the C’s. The 35-year-old is set to earn a base salary of $27 million and $26.5 million over the next two campaigns, respectively.
With some newfound financial flexibility and more moves likely to come, figure the Celtics to be fairly active this offseason as they look to rebound from their underwhelming 2020-21 season.