There might be more trouble in paradise.
A report made rounds Wednesday suggesting that the Boston Celtics and Kemba Walker are looking to part ways this offseason, and more details have come out about what led to this point.
According to Farbod Esnaashari of Bleacher Report, the relationship between Walker and the Celtics was strained after the team tried to shop their starting point guard.
And based on more information from Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the team has been trying to trade Walker since the bubble, and tried to swap him for LaMarcus Aldridge while he still was on the San Antonio Spurs.
Here’s what Mannix had to say to Trenni Kusnierek on NBC Sports Boston:
Well the Danny Ainge-led front office has been looking at possibilities of trading Kemba dating back to the end of last season’s bubble experience. From what I’m told the Ainge front office saw, kind of, the writing on the wall in a way with Kemba Walker, when it came to this knee. Remember, the knee injury which occurred I believe in late January of 2020, it was still lingering in the bubble. This is after months and months of being off, and I think the Celtics front office was looking for a way to get out from under that contract. They ultimately were not able to do it despite having conversations with multiple teams over the last several months. I was told they discussed the deal involving Kemba Walker and LaMarcus Aldridge when Aldridge was still in San Antonio. Primarily because Aldridge was on the last year of his contract whereas Kemba Walker has two years, currently, at about 76 million remaining on this contract. That frustrated Kemba Walker. Kemba is among the most loyal guys you’re going to find in professional sports. Like he would still be a Charlotte Hornet if Charlotte had stepped up to the plate during his free agency and made him the highest offer. It wasn’t about going to Boston to chase a championship for Kemba, there was a lot more money on the table. So for Kemba to hear his name and understand his name was in trade rumors, that absolutely has frustrated him over the last six to eight months.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out this offseason, but yeah, we’d be offended too considering Aldridge retired before the season even started.
Walker has two years left on his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent ahead of the 2024 season.