Kemba Walker Signs Four-Year Deal With Celtics

JULY 6: Walker’s new deal with the Celtics is official, according to a tweet from the team. Walker was among the first free agents to commit to his new team when free agency began last Sunday.

JUNE 30, 5:24pm: Walker and the Celtics are formally in agreement on a four-year max deal, tweets Wojnarowski. As we detailed in our story of the Hornets’ agreement with Rozier, Boston is working on adding Kemba via sign-and-trade.

JUNE 30, 2:14pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that while talks remain exploratory in nature, the Celtics have shown interest in a three-team sign-and-trade with Irving, Walker, and Rozier (to the Hornets). Per Woj, the Celtics are interested in having the MLE at their disposal as opposed to the room exception. Woj also adds that the Nets would likely command a first-round pick from Boston for agreeing to a S&T.

JUNE 29, 3:39pm: Free agent point guard Kemba Walker has conveyed to the Hornets that he intends to sign with the Celtics when the NBA’s new league year begins, multiple sources tell Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

Boston has been viewed as Walker’s likely landing spot in recent days, having emerged as the frontrunner for the All-NBA point guard earlier in the week.

Kemba intends to sign a four-year, maximum-salary contract (worth a projected $141MM), tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. He’ll be in Boston on Sunday night to finalize an agreement with the C’s, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

A three-time All-Star, Walker had perhaps the best year of his NBA carer in 2018/19, establishing a new career-high in PPG (25.6) while also contributing 5.9 APG and 4.4 RPG with a shooting line of .434/.356/.844.

Despite receiving little offensive help in Charlotte, Walker managed to keep the team in the playoff hunt for most of the season, though the Hornets ultimately fell short and finished in the lottery. If Walker had returned to Charlotte, the team would have been up against the luxury tax and would have had a hard time improving its roster around him, so the former UConn star will move on to a potential contender despite the fact that the Hornets could have offered him more money over more years.

Walker will join a Celtics roster that is set to feature Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart, so it will be fascinating to see what he can do in Boston without receiving quite as much attention from opposing defenses. The opportunity to play alongside those Celtics veterans and potentially go deep in the playoffs was a key factor in Walker’s decision, a source tells Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link).

The C’s are expecting to lose Al Horford and, of course, Kyrie Irving, who has been rumored to be focused on Brooklyn. With Walker heading to Boston to replace Irving, the Hornets are scouring the free agent market for possible point guard targets of their own, according to Wojnarowski, who tweets that Elfrid Payton, T.J. McConnell, Ish Smith, and Emmanuel Mudiay are among the options being considered by Charlotte.

Terry Rozier‘s name has also been linked to the Hornets, though it’s unlikely that he’d be a viable option unless Charlotte and Boston can work out some sort of sign-and-trade arrangement, which is a long shot. By withdrawing Rozier’s qualifying offer and renouncing his cap hold, the Celtics will have enough room to sign Walker outright to a max deal, even with Daniel Theis‘ QO still on their books.

In addition to Boston and Charlotte, the Mavericks and Knicks had also been considered potential contenders for Walker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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60 thoughts on “Kemba Walker Signs Four-Year Deal With Celtics

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      1 year older than Kawhi, same age as Klay and 1 year younger than Durant. Your point?

  1. Averagebro

    Yep, maxing out a tiny 30 year old guard with no playoff success record. Makes sense.

      • We must be in that period before free agency where players can verbally agree to a deal with a team. Walker could still change his mind.

      • Havlicek stole the ball

        I can only think of this: he has Antoine Walker’s #8 celtics jersey, and he’s thinking he can get Kemba Walker ‘s jersey “for free”

  2. jirogers72

    Okay MJ & Mitch, now it’s your turn to come out of hiding and let your fans know what the Hornets plans are. Your promise of signing Kemba was a sham, so it’s time come clean or better yet, SELL THE TEAM!

    • You saw their list of targets. All those backup guys to be your starting point guard LOL. Couldn’t imagine being a fan of the Hornets who are hamstrung by poor financial decisions of the past. There is like no hope for any success the Hornets in the next couple years. They are a 8 seed Max everything goes right kind of team. Ish Smith? Elfrid Payton? Wow.

    • Rocket32

      Letting Kemba walk is for the best unfortunately. They need to tank hard for the next several years. Having Kemba just increases the odds of of worse draft picks. They need to start over, build through the draft and actually start hitting on their selections.

  3. brian_james

    Marcus Smart should be listed ahead of Jaylen Brown when listing Boston’s core

  4. C’s need a big and could probably swing the Sabonis fella from Indy. Could be a fun team to watch.

    • alonsoball

      There’s a BOS-IND trade coming, their draft picks were highly suspicious (both got the player coveted by the other team, who didn’t fit their own rosters at all – Langford and Bitadze)

        • alonsoball

          I would say either one of Turner/Sabonis plus Bitadze for Hayward/Smart or even Rozier on a S&T plus Langford. Picks included if deal is a bit lopsided either way. Makes sense for both teams. Strong Indiana ties with GH and Romeo of course, BOS needs a couple of bigs.

      • Havlicek stole the ball

        You may be right, turner and sabonis deserve starter status, but the lithuanian is an old school center, doesnt shoot threes, if tatum is gonna play the four, sabonis would fit at five

        • alonsoball

          If I had to choose, I would get Sabonis, don’t trust Turner’s intangibles/mindset/character yet. He’s on a fine contract tho. But isn’t Boston a bit allergic to European players as of late? Just curious, I’m European myself, and trust me, any European player would die to play for the Celtics, there’s a huge, almost cult-like following here since the Larry Bird days.

  5. MJ can penny pinch and still upgrade the team, short term and long term. Trade for CP3, sending Batum and Williams to the Rockets. CP3, away from Harden, is still a better player than Kemba, and far less ball dominant (who knows, maybe some of these other guys can actually play if they get the ball once in a while). CP3 is from the area, and might take to finishing his career there.

    • Curtisrowe

      Chris Paul is 34 years old. He will make 38 million this year. Next year at 35 he will make 41 million.
      Then the year after that at 36 he has a player option for 44 million.

      Batum is off the books in two years. Williams is off the book this year. This makes no sense at all.

      • hiflew

        The Hornets need an identity far more than anything else. Chris Paul will sell tickets. Far more than signing Patrick Beverley or another PG. No one is going to show up to watch a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Cody Zeller led team. They need a new face of the franchise and Chris Paul could be that. Even if he won’t be the same player he was in 2011.

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      So trade a player than can help you win for two overpaid role players? Morley isn’t trying to salary dump CP3. If moved its to bring in another star using CP3’s salary cap hold.

    • jorge78

      For an old, overpaid player with a me first attitude?
      Jordan wants to make a profit, winning is incidental.

  6. hiflew

    Well this makes Charlotte a potentially interesting spot. It could create a “Donovan Mitchell situation” where someone is going to have to be the leading scorer. I really don’t think PJ Washington is going to be that type of rookie, but if they did a sign and trade for Romeo Langford, he could potentially be a contender for ROY.

    • 123Redsox

      Why would the celtics sign and trade Langford? They aren’t sign and trading anyone for kemba

      • hiflew

        Because they would have ABSOLUTELY no need for him and it would his salary off their cap.

    • 123Redsox

      No rookies at least … They are cheap guys that fill out the roster. And Langford has TREMENDOUS upside…. If they so any sign and trade (which there is less than a 1% chance one happens here), it will be moving guys with big contracts in order to free up cap space… Not young highly talented cheap players

  7. Yep it is

    The entire NBA has became me a joke with the free agents already knowing where they are going, the stupid lottery system, guys demanding trades to one team, and worse BRON BRON player, coach , GM.

    • The worst of it all is the haters & trolls like you, if you don’t like the league don’t watch it or follow it, who cares about you dude!

  8. goldenmisfit

    Even though I am a Lakers fan I have to say this was a good fit. Kemba Walker I think is going to do really good in Boston always a fan of him as a player and even though he will be with Boston that will not change best of luck to him.

  9. afsooner02

    MASSIVE overpay….good luck celts. Although if Leonard goes west maybe you’re the second best team in the east….maybe….

  10. GMB 883

    123 RS, I agree with you. There is always a chance Ainge trades Jaylen Brown for a young center that is comparable to Jaylens value if there is such a player and the contracts are within 20%. If that happens Langford could get some additional minutes but he’s a rookie who was hurt in Indy with his thumb so I’m not sure he plays many minutes on the C’s unless he matures very quickly. It’s more likely that Ainge uses the mid level exception ($4.8M) on a center like Enes Cantor. Having 3 #1 picks next year helps as well to trade one of them with a player for a big.

  11. GMB 883

    Landing Kemba is HUGE considering that Kyrie struggled to lead the young players and they were probably over confident after playing so well taking LaBron to 7 games the prior year without Kyrie and Hayward. I like where this is going if they can get a decent big that can rebound, play some D and block some shots. If the big can shoot a little that is a bonus in Brad’s offense.

  12. Z-A

    The regular max is appropriate for Kemba. Hornets should offer 5th yr. But they won’t.

  13. formerlyz

    The fit is very weird to me and feels like a mistake for both sides, to be honest, although Kemba gets paid regardless, so good for him. They’ll be good. I just think that it’s a weird fit

  14. Thank you Boston for removing a potential bad signing that the Knicks would’ve made. If they can’t make the smart decisions, then let’s eliminate the bad ones as options I guess…

  15. GMB 883

    I hear you but remember the difference is, Kemba is making this decision vs Kyrie who was traded to Boston. Kemba has the motivation to find a way to make it work. We shall see how it plays out. He’s an established talented PG who scored almost 26 ppg on a bad team vs signing Rozier for a lot less and hoping he can develop.

  16. joeyrocafella

    Goodbye Kemba… Thanks for the 8+ years of hard work…good luck in Boston. As a Hornets fan, this sucks

    • C-Daddy

      It’s for the best that they’re letting him walk. The Hornets are at best a 7-8 seed with him and they’d have no cap flexibility for years with him making $220 million.

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        That’s not really true. They have about $50 coming off the books next year and another $27 the following year. But who else would they spend that money on? Hard to get top FA to come to town.

  17. stretch123

    Kemba is the ultimate PG for an 8th seeded team. Kyrie will lead Brooklyn to a 5th seed next year… watch.

  18. mrjjbond

    S&T should also open up the BAE for the C’s, which would give them a much needed depth piece.

  19. Dionis89

    The Celtics are making the Finals next season, they have a ton of fire power around Kemba. He’s never had this much weapons(Hayward,Tatum,Brown, and Smart).

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