New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls And Other Trade Destinations For Celtics’ Kemba Walker

Published 06/09/2021, 11:12 PM EDT
May 25, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker (8) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) and power forward Blake Griffin (2) and point guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first quarter of game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


After being eliminated by the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, the Boston Celtics instantly saw some front-office changes. Danny Ainge stepped down as president and now former coach Brad Stevens has taken his place. And now with Stevens calling the shots, it’s possible that the first person out of the door could be Kemba Walker. If that’s true, there are some teams who might be interested in the point guard.

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Walker joined forces with the Celtics two years ago in free agency through a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets that included sending Terry Rozier there. When brought to the Celtics, Walker was expected to be the third man behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Although the Celtics reached the Western Conference Finals in the first season, the second one was the exact opposite.

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There is no way Boston will be taking anything lightly going forward. From being conference final contenders to being kicked out in the first round is a huge step-down. So if Walker and the Celtics part ways, what are the possible trade destinations?

Where is Kemba Walker best suited to be after the Boston Celtics?

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls paired up Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic hoping it would land them in the playoffs. Instead, they dropped down further and finished the season as the eleventh seeded team. So if the Bulls want to secure a spot in the postseason, bringing in a third man will be their best shot at it.

By becoming the Bulls’ starting PG, Walker could be the ball-handler that Zach needs in the backcourt. This is also their best shot at ensuring that LaVine stays with Chicago, provided Kemba remains healthy.

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New York Knicks

It is safe to say that the New York Knicks were headed in the right direction this time. For the first time since 2013, they made it to the playoffs, and that too, as the fourth seed. Unfortunately, they were kicked out by the Atlanta Hawks in round one.

However, this only means that the Knicks just need some more stepping stones to become better. This includes building a better supporting cast around their star players Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett.

Jun 2, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) drives to the basket in the third quarter against the Atlanta Hawks during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

With the most cap space entering into this offseason, this franchise could be the most active, and bringing in a point guard could be their priority. If they do decide to let go of Derrick Rose but let PGs like Dennis Schroder, Kyle Lowry, Lonzo Ball slide past them, Kemba Walker would be their best option.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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The Oklahoma City Thunder are likely to make a trade for Walker only because they can. They’re projected to be one of the teams with the most financial room to make this move.

Currently, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is holding the fort for OKC but adding a veteran will help him get off the ball. So if the Celtics are just looking for someone to be able to pay Walker’s salary, OKC is the way to go.

Walker’s breakup with the Celtics is rumored to be because of their strained relationship after they tried to dump him back in 2020 as well. However, Walker’s injury concerns are the biggest issue here but his status this offseason will be worth the wait.

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Yashima Bhatia

1489 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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