Why Kendrick Perkins Loved Celtics’ Kemba Walker Trade With Thunder

'Celtics Nation should be proud'


Jun 18, 2021

Kendrick Perkins believes Friday’s move was a slam dunk for the Boston Celtics.

The C’s said goodbye to Kemba Walker, sending the veteran point guard, the 16th overall pick in next month’s draft and a 2025 second-rounder to the Thunder. In return, Boston received Al Horford, center Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick from Oklahoma City.

Perkins, as he explained on ESPN’s “First Take,” believes the Celtics’ franchise cornerstones will benefit from Walker’s departure. The former Boston big man also thinks Horford, though he’s past his prime, will have a positive impact on the C’s.

“Oh, I love it. I see Brad (Stevens) making power moves as soon as he steps foot in the office,” Perkins said. “I love it, and here’s why: He’s telling Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, ‘This is your team.’ Now you don’t have to worry about, oh, can Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, can they play together? Who’s going to share the ball? How can you make this work? We don’t have to worry about that. Bringing back Al Horford was huge. He’s loved by the Celtics’ fans, he’s respected by the organization, but most importantly, he brings his value to that team. He stretches the floor, he’s a great leader. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum love ‘Big Al.’

“Here’s a teaching point to all the young fellas out there that are on auditioning roles right now in the G League, in the NBA that are trying to get jobs in the NBA or trying to stay in the NBA: Moses Brown played with the Oklahoma City Thunder and he had 21 points and 23 rebounds (against the Celtics). You know who was coaching at the time? Brad Stevens. So he said, ‘You know what? Let me snag this young fella.’ He’s a good center, he’s going to put pressure on Robert Williams to perform. Rob has a history of being injured. I love this move by Brad Stevens. Celtics Nation should be proud. Beantown, stand up.”

In addition to Perkins’ points, the Walker trade also created some financial flexibility in Boston. Stevens and Co. seemingly have opened the door for a potential bigger move down the road.

Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kemba Walker and Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens
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