BREAKING: Celtics Trade Kemba Walker to Thunder With Brad Stevens Making His First Move as GM

Published 06/18/2021, 9:37 AM EDT
May 22, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) drives the ball defended by Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first quarter of game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports


The Boston Celtics got knocked out of the playoffs early this season. And they are not waiting at all to fix their roster. Newly appointed general manager Brad Stevens has now made his first move, and it is a big trade.

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The Celtics are sending Kemba Walker along with a first and second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The first-rounder will be the 16th pick from the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft while the second-rounder will be from 2025. They will receive Al Horford and Moses Brown in the trade along with a 2023 second-round pick.

It was an early morning Woj bomb from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and fans were caught off guard. Although very few trades happen during the playoffs, the Celtics can legally make trades since they are no longer in the playoffs. Their journey ended in the first round after losing 2-4 to the Nets.

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Jan 17, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) drives to the basket against the New York Knicks in the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Walker had an underwhelming 2020-21 season, which only became worse in the playoffs. He averaged just 12.7 points per game in the playoffs, while shooting 31% from the field and 17% from three. So it looks like the Celtics were eager to ship him off because of those performances.

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Did the Boston Celtics win this trade?

While they may have traded a player they were desperately trying to get rid of, it isn’t what fans would have expected. Although Walker had a bad season, giving him up alongside a first and a second for a 35-year-old Horford is surprising. Brown is a promising youngster, but it still feels like a big overpay from the Celtics.

Moreover, the Thunder are a selling team. They give away their best players on cheap for picks, but here the Celtics still got the worse end of the deal. The only logical reason for the trade would be their desperation to ship Walker away.

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Losing the 16th overall pick would hurt since the upcoming draft is deep. The Celtics could have got a good rotational piece and further strengthen their depth. But on the bright side, Brown is more NBA ready than any prospect they could have got at that spot.

This move is undoubtedly an L for the Celtics and fans would be doubting Brad Stevens now. But he will be eager to prove that this is the start of something special.

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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