What to Like About the Kemba Walker Trade


Despite being eliminated from the postseason in early June, the Boston Celtics continue to make headlines around the NBA.  Just two and a half weeks after taking over as President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens made his first major move, dealing Kemba Walker and a couple of draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for old friend Al Horford, a young big in Moses Brown and a useless, second round draft pick. 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

I think a lot of people expected the Celtics to move on from Walker this offseason, but it's still always a bit of a shock when a high-profile player is traded.  This won't be the last move the Celtics make this offseason, so let's be a little patient before we complain. 

Walker is now the second marquee free agent whose Celtics tenure didn't go quite as planned.  Much like Gordon Hayward, Walker was bothered by injuries and was forced to take a backseat as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown's development accelerated. 

Celtics fans let the contracts of Hayward and Walker fuel their hate, but these guys were nothing but great teammates while they were here.  They allowed Brown and Tatum to flourish.  Walker had some great games in Boston, but he just wasn't the right fit for this team.  Boston needs a facilitator, and now there is an opportunity to go and get one. 

That's just one of the few positives to come out of this trade.  Some of the others... 

It saves the team some money.  Walker's contract was the biggest barrier to a trade, and the reason Boston wasn't going to be able to get something great in return.  Somehow they got out of it.  They did take back a pretty large contract with Horford, but they still save $9 million this year.  Looking ahead to next year, Horford's contract is only half guaranteed, so it gives them some flexibility.

It also brings Boston that veteran leadership they so desperately need.  Look, Horford won't be the same guy that he was in Boston a few years ago.  He'll be solid.  Don't put much stock into his performance last year.  Knowing that the Thunder were going nowhere, Horford and the team agreed to hold him out of the team's final 30 games or so, so the young guys could play and develop. 

Horford still has something left in the tank and will provide Boston some lift.  They once again have a big who can stretch the floor, as well as a guy who has matched up pretty well with Joel Embiid.

The biggest thing he will bring will be off the court, though.  Having Horford will take pressure off of Tatum and Brown.  He is a well-respected NBA veteran, who knows exactly how to navigate the ups and downs of an NBA season.

The fact that he has already shared a locker room with most of these guys is a major plus.  Guys won't hesitate to look to Horford for guidance.  Boston brought in Tristan Thompson last year, thinking he could fill that veteran leadership role, but it's hard to look to a guy for leadership when he stinks. 

Also, I'm not sure Thompson had the best approach to the game, having played alongside LeBron James.  It was clear he felt the regular season was just a farce, and when playoffs came around you could just flip a switch.  Well, that works with the best player in the league, but not when you a have a locker room full of young guys. 

Another positive?  It takes the Celtics out of the draft.  That may not seem like a plus, but for years I've listened to fans complain about Boston drafting too many guys, and how this team doesn't need another rookie.  Well, their first round pick is now in Oklahoma City, so you don't have to worry about that.

Get 20% OFF @manscaped + Free Shipping with promo code BSS at MANSCAPED.com!

The other piece of this is Moses Brown.  At 7'2", he is an intriguing young big.  He had some big games in OKC last year, but part of that is a product of the environment.  He didn't really get minutes until OKC's roster get decimated by injuries, but he did make the most of his situation.  He's an okay insurance policy for Robert Williams, and could provide some solid minutes off of the bench even when Williams is healthy. 

I've seen a lot of hate and negativity on Twitter around this (what else is new).  You can't call for Boston to trade Walker, and then get upset when they do.  For years people bashed Danny Ainge because he was always trying to "win the deal", instead of just making a move to help the team. 

Bottom line, this trade was about parting ways with Walker and his contract.  It doesn't move the needle for this team one way or another.  There will certainly be more dominoes to fall.  I'd expect Thompson to be on the move soon. 

Follow Derek on Twitter @mcvay34.

Check out Above The Parquet, the Syndicate’s podcast dedicated solely to the Boston Celtics and the rest of the NBA.  Follow on Twitter @AboveTheParquet.

Follow Boston Sports Syndicate on Twitter @BostonSportsSyn, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Boston Sports Syndicate.  Join our Facebook page to receive notification of new articles, podcasts, and live podcast broadcasts on twitch.tv/bostonsportssyndicate.

Do you want to talk sports with the Syndicate’s Writers and Podcast Hosts?  Click the link below and join us on Discord!

Syndicate Discord Channel



Bathroom Breaks,3,Bruins,50,Celtics,79,Fantasy Baseball,42,Fantasy Football,42,Fantasy Sports,82,Golf,10,NCAA,27,Off The Rails,39,Patriots,211,Podcast,5,Red Sox,415,SimBull,4,SyndiTakes,8,XFL,8,
Boston Sports Syndicate: What to Like About the Kemba Walker Trade
What to Like About the Kemba Walker Trade
Boston Sports Syndicate
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content