- ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that the Boston Celtics had emerged as the favourites to sign All-Star guard Kemba Walker at the start of NBA free agency.
- Walker’s move would have ripple effects across the league, with teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks looking to regroup after missing out on his services.
- There’s no official deal and still plenty of time for things to change, but Walker’s move to Boston could be the first domino to fall in a wild summer of free agency.
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NBA free agency doesn’t officially begin until Sunday, but teams across the league are already jockeying for position to sign the superstars on the market.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the first of what should be many “Woj Bombs” to come: The Boston Celtics have emerged as the favourites to sign the Charlotte Hornets All-Star guard Kemba Walker.
Walker “is expected to be offered a four-year, $US141 million contract from the Celtics – a deal that he’s increasingly likely to accept, league sources say,” Wojnarowski wrote.
Walker is eligible for a supermax deal, with his being named to an All-NBA list this past season. He has also been rumoured as a potential third piece to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in a new “Big Three” for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Should Wojnarowski’s report play out, Walker would instead be heading to Boston to fill in for Kyrie Irving, who is all but guaranteed to leave the team in the offseason.
Walker’s move to the Celtics would have ripple effects throughout the league. First and foremost, it would leave the Hornets in full rebuilding mode, without a superstar to build talent around or market to fans. It would also give the Celtics an impressive foursome of Walker, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown that could make a run for the Eastern Conference title.
But beyond the two teams directly involved, Walker’s being taken off the market would have huge ramifications for the other teams that might have thought they had a shot at landing the 29-year-old All-Star guard.
The Lakers, still in need of a backcourt, might be pushed to try to bring D’Angelo Russell back from the Brooklyn Nets or even persuade Irving to team with James again after their days together in Cleveland.
The Knicks, whose big plans for the offseason have appeared to crumble in recent weeks, would have to regroup yet again and see whether there’s any other player worthy of a max deal interested in coming to New York.
Whatever moves the Lakers and Knicks make in response to Walker’s signing in Boston would in turn have even wider repercussions for more and more teams as the chaotic opening days of free agency play out.
Of course, none of this is official yet, and there is still plenty of time for things to change – one thing we know about Woj Bombs is that there’s always another one coming soon. But if the Celtics do sign Walker at the start of free agency, it could be the first domino to fall in a wild summer of moves.
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