FEBRUARY 17, CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA: Kemba Walker #15, Charlotte Hornets, and Team Giannis reacts to Team Lebron during the second half of the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina on February 17, 2019. NOTE TO USER: By downloading and/or using the photograph, the user expressly acknowledges and accepts the Getty Images License Agreement terms and conditions. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images. Getty Images
The Celtics made a shocking deal in the middle of the playoffs and sent Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City Thunder to bring Al Horford home to Boston.
Walker was not part of the long-term plans for Oklahoma City, even though he was recently acquired. He is 31 years old and doesn't fit into the timeline for a Thunder team that is still years away from winning again.
Is that a sign that he will not be wearing a Thunder uniform next year? No.
Thunder GM Sam Presti will not be able to move Walker at a fair price. He will just wait for the right package.
Walker will make $36 million next year, with a player option of $37.7 millions for the 2022-23 seasons. He is due $73.7 million for the remainder of his contract. This makes it more difficult to trade him again because of his salary and some injuries.
Walker is still a formidable player for any contender. It's just a matter if he stays healthy. Walker missed more than 40 percent of last season's regular season because of injury. He was also sidelined in crucial postseason games.
Walker was a member of four consecutive NBA All-Star teams before his poor 2020-21 season in Boston. He also served as a starter during 2019-20. He also missed six games in his last four seasons with Charlotte (2016-1999), which is encouraging considering recent injuries.
Walker was only in 43 games last year, but he averaged 19.3 points and 4.9 assists per game, while shooting 36.0 percent from the deep.
Walker's next chapter in NBA history will be decided by which destination he goes.
Walker would be able to move a competitor to the next level by joining one of the Los Angeles teams.
ESPN's Zach Lowe reported recently that both the Clippers and Lakers will likely be looking for the former NBA All-Star point-guard.
Lowe stated that both the L.A. and Chicago teams will be looking at Kemba Walker on a podcast. That's my view. Although I don't know if you have the money or if Oklahoma City has what they want, that is the market I believe they can reach.
Based on their payrolls, both teams would need to come up with creative ways to bring Walker in. But don't underestimate the possibility of a complicated deal. The LA teams are two to watch, regardless of whether it becomes a multi-team deal.
According to projections, the New York Knicks will have the largest cap space of any team in this summer. It would be easy to bring Walker in, considering this.
They'll likely be more interested in big names like Damian Lillard or Kawhi Leonard, but Walker could be a great backup plan for the Knicks.
New York is just one step away from being a contender in the Eastern Conference. They would be one of the favourites in the conference if Walker is healthy.
Their cap space means that salaries for potential deals wouldn't need to be equal. A lot of young men are available to the Knicks who could benefit from a new start with a team like the Thunder.
Since losing to the Clippers in the first round, the Dallas Mavericks have rebuilt their coaching and front office. The next step will be to get more talent around Luka Docic in order to move up as a team.
The Mavericks will be targeting guys like Leonard and Lillard, as well as DeMar DeRozan. Walker would make the Dallas roster a lot more interesting if they can't make any of their top choices work.
Walker and Doncic are great with the ball in their hands. However, Dallas needed a reliable scorer at times throughout the playoffs and regular season. The team was lost when Doncic went on rest. Walker would be a great addition to the offense, allowing him to continue stagger rotations.
Chris Minnix of Sports Illustrateds claims that a trade for Walker and Kristaps Porzingis is possible after the June move OKC made.
Although Porzingis' departure will make the core of the team more senior, the Mavericks should still be focused on Doncic and their win now.
The New Orleans Pelicans was one of the most puzzled teams in last season's league. They had a solid roster but didn't win the expected wins. Maybe it's a wrong roster.
Walker would not only help to space the floor and make Zion Williamson's life easier, but he would also be a significant improvement on Eric Bledsoe.
New Orleans would need to send Bledsoe from New Orleans to Oklahoma City as part of any Walker package. However, it would be an immediate improvement on the team.
There has been speculation about Williamsons family being unhappy with his position with the Pelicans and a coaching transition. Now is the time to make a splash. It seems like a good idea to upgrade at point guard.
The Miami Heat made it to the 2020 NBA Finals and were swept in round one of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Heat are a leader in making big moves and acquiring top talent.
Their roster is getting older so maybe bringing in a point-guard of Walkers caliber is logical. Walker, who could play alongside Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo in point guard, could provide much-needed ball-handling and playmaking.
Goran Dragic, Andre Iguodala have both large team options that could help make a deal. These options can also be turned down to make room for Walker to sign a major deal.
They will need to raise the ceiling if Miami is to make another strong postseason run in 2021-22.
The Chicago Bulls made quite a splash at the trade deadline by bringing in Nikola Vucevic, center, as their second star along with Zach LaVine. They still have a lot of roster building to do to make it a playoff contender and make some noise.
Walker is one way to achieve this. His backcourt with LaVine would be one of the most explosive in all of NBA, in terms of quick offense.
Although it is not clear whether Chicago would risk Walker's services, he could be the best option for them if they want to significantly increase their ceiling without sacrificing major assets.
The Bulls have a lot of contracts that can be combined to match salaries, which is a good thing.