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Kemba Walker to the Heat?
NBA Analysis’ Evan Massey has thrown out a hypothetical trade that would pry away one of Boston’s two All-Star players, yet yield a handful of intriguing puzzle pieces in return.
In the trade, the Celtics would send Walker to the reigning Eastern Conference Champions, Miami Heat, pairing up the 30-year-old point guard with fellow All-Stars, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. While the Heat would form a pseudo “Big Three” of sorts, it would come at a price.
Massey has the Celtics receiving a package that includes the likes of 2019-20 breakout rookie Kendrick Nunn, big-man Kelly Olynyk, former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala and a 2022 first-round pick.
One of the main catalysts behind this projected deal is the question Massey has as to how Walker will fit alongside the likes of franchise cornerstone Jayson Tatum and rising star Jaylen Brown.
They [Celtics] have two very good players leading their franchise in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Kemba Walker is a nice player to have, but he doesn’t fit great with Tatum being the go-to scoring option.
Is the Boost to Boston’s Bench Worth It?
Massey goes on to highlight that he does not believe Walker would net “a ton in return” for Boston. From that perspective, this specific haul does present its fair share of perks, especially for a Celtics team in dire need of bench help.
Nunn is a fairly young (25-years-old), tantalizing scoring option that would add a spark for the second unit. The All-Rookie First Team selection averaged 15.1 ppg in 29.3 mpg over 67 games a season ago. His per 36-minutes scoring output equates to 18.8 ppg.
At 36-years-old, Iguodala is far removed from his prime. With that said, he’s still a quality defensive presence on the wing and as we all know, has proven himself capable of hitting big shots when called upon.
The final piece of the puzzle, Olynyk is the familiar face of the bunch. The 29-year-old Toronto native got his NBA start with Boston, spending his first four seasons with the Celtics. Olynyk can do a bit of everything. He’s essentially the dad that dominates at your local rec center, except he’s put together in a near 7-foot frame and rocks a ponytail.
This trio would certainly add some much-welcomed depth to the Celtics’ roster. Plus a first-round pick never hurt anyone. But would Boston be willing to pull the trigger at the expense of losing their starting point guard? That remains up for debate.
Walker, who is still working his way back from an offseason knee procedure, enjoyed a brilliant first season in Boston a year ago. After eight seasons with the Hornets, Walker landed with the Celtics through a sign and trade deal worth $141M in July of 2019 and quickly made his presence felt.
In 56 contests, the four-time All-Star averaged 20.4 points and 4.8 assists per game. His 38.1% from three was the third-highest mark of his nine-year career.
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