The Boston Celtics and Kemba Walker want to part ways. After a difficult 2020-21 season, the pairing clearly hasn't worked and both sides reportedly want out of the relationship. There's just one problem: Walker's contract will make a trade exceptionally difficult.
Bleacher Report's Farbod Esnaashari is reporting Walker and the Celtics are essentially done with each other. The relationship was fundamentally damaged when Danny Ainge unsuccessfully attempted to trade Walker as part of a deal for Jrue Holiday last offseason. Trust was broken and things only got worse when Walker struggled with injuries and on the court this season.
Both sides are motivated to move on, but the massive, four-year, $140.8 million contract Walker signed in 2019 looks terrible in hindsight. He's due to make $36 million in 2021-22 and has a player option for $37.7 million in 2022-23. He'll almost certainly exercise that option. Yeah we can discuss potential trade destinations but it's hard to take them seriously.
Let's be real, no one will be clamoring to take on that contract, given Walker is a 31-year-old, undersized point guard who's missed significant time with injuries over the past two seasons. He has less than zero true trade value right now.
The only way Boston will move Walker is if it takes a bad contract back, and the Celtics might have to attach draft capital to get a deal done.
So yeah, welcome to the job, Brad Stevens. Good luck with all that.