Brad Steven has wasted no time making his first official move in his new role as president of basketball operations of the Boston Celtics. Stevens traded point guard Kemba Walker and the 16th pick in the NBA Draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford and 21-year old center Moses Brown. It was a nice little move for everyone involved.
The move gives the Celtics some financial relief as Horford will make $27 million next season while Walker will make $36 million. Plus, Brad Stevens proved he could compete a trade and not just tell people he was thinking about making one.
For OKC, they got another pick. Boy, do they love their picks in OKC. With the NBA Draft Lottery just a few days away (June 22) the Thunder are looking at a ton of picks in the upcoming draft. They own their own lottery pick, plus get Houston's pick if it falls out of the top 4 or #18 from Miami. Then they have picks 35, 36 and 55, plus #16 from Boston. I won't go into everything, but they also have 2-3 first round picks in 2022 and somewhere between 2 and 4 in 2023. Odds are one of those picks will work out for the Thunder.
The Kemba Walker era in Boston lasted just two seasons with the Celtics making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the Disney Bubble. Walker averaged 19 points and 5 assists in his first postseason since 2016. Horford
Horford's lost season in OKC was the first time in his career that he missed the playoffs. He went to the Eastern Conference Finals twice with the Celtics in '17 and '18 and once with the Atlanta Hawks in '15. With a healthy Jaylen Brown Horford could return.
I can't wait to see where Horford, Walker and all those picks are two years from now. Likely not where they are today.