After two seasons, it looks like Kemba Walker’s time with the Celtics is coming to an end.
Bleacher Report Farbod Esnaashari reported that Walker and Boston are “likely to move forward in the relationship this season in a consensus between the parties.”
Two years have passed since Walker chose to join the Celtics free agency. He reached out to the Celtics for Terry Rozier Walker’s former team, the Hornets, who sent him through a sign and trade and Boston had to help him take the next step to become a competitor.
However, things did not go as planned.
Walker helped the Celtics reach the 6th game of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2020 season. But his second season didn’t go so well. Walker lost 31 high-career games, as well as in the playoffs, averaging 19.3 points per game in the regular season in 42 percent shooting. They were the lowest marks in the fourth season of 2014-15.
As Walker struggled, so did the Celtics. They were unable to stay healthy as injuries and COVID destroyed the team, and they ended the year with a 36-36 result as they finished seventh in the playoffs. After winning the NBA play-in championship, the Celtics lost 4-1 in the opening series at the hands of the Nets, in which Walker lost the last two games.
This led to major changes in their organization. GM Danny Ainge retired and coach Brad Stevens took over the office job.
Of course, one of these changes could theoretically help the relationship between Walker and Boston.
Apparently, Walker didn’t have the best bond with Ainge. Esnaasha reported that Ainge tried to make a deal with Walker to land Jrue Holiday and then strained his relationship with Walker.
A source close to Walker said he was hurt by Boston’s efforts to negotiate with him, which created a rift in the Walker-Ainge relationship.
So now Walker is sure to look for work elsewhere and the Celtics will try to negotiate. Walker will earn $ 36 million next year with a $ 37 million option for 2022-23, so it won’t be easy to negotiate with the veteran, but there will still be some watchdog groups interested in his services.
As for Walker, he wants a win-win situation. That’s what he did to Boston. It just didn’t happen.
Concerns about injuries may not make Walker a former player, but he will still be one of the biggest names in the market this summer. So as the season progresses, it’s worth seeing Walker’s situation.