Kemba Walker’s tenure with the Celtics is officially coming to an end, while Brad Stevens’ tenure as the team’s president of basketball operations kicks off with a bang.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Celtics are trading the veteran point guard, as well as the No. 16 overall pick in the 2021 Draft and a 2025 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In return, the Celtics will receive a familiar face — five-time All-Star Al Horford — as well as big-man Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick.
A rare trade ahead of the Chicago pre-draft combine, the NBA insider cites Stevens’ “longtime friendship” with Thunder GM Sam Presti as a driving force in nailing down the deal. With that said, Thunder fans may want to hold off on placing that Walker jersey order. Wojnarowski hinted at the possibility of the four-time All-Star being moved yet again in the near future, claiming the “Thunder can work with Walker on what’s next for him as they did with CP3 (Chris Paul), ‘Melo (Carmelo Anthony) and Horford.”
During Walker’s two seasons in Beantown, the 31-year-old averaged 19.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 99 games.
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Horford Back in Celtic Green
Of course, Celtics fans are well-acquainted with Horford. Spending three seasons with the team from 2016 through 2018, the former two-time National Champion played a crucial role in helping his Cs advance to multiple Eastern Conference Championship appearances over that span.
Horford, a five-time All-Star, may not be the same dominant force he was during his early years in Boston. With that said, even at 35 years old, he produced more than admirably for the Thunder this season. In fact, his production was on par with his Atlanta Hawks days, averaging his highest point output (14.2) since 2015. That was, of course, before he and the Thunder “mutually” agreed to shut him down for the team’s final 28 games of the regular season, per ESPN’s Royce Young.
The veteran big comes with his own potential financial drawbacks — although nowhere near that of Walker’s $73.6 million that is owed to him over the next two years. Horford is on the books for $53.5 million through the 2022-23 season, while approaching 38 years old.
What the Celtics are Getting in Moses Brown
While Celtics fans know what they’re getting in Horford, the name Moses Brown may be a bit more unknown to some. However, Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn is here to help jog your memory, reminding those on Twitter that Brown is “the dude” who grabbed an astonishing 19 rebounds in the first half against the Celtics back in March.
Checking in at 7-foot-2-inches and 242 pounds, Brown went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft out of UCLA. He spent his first professional season between stints in both the NBA G League and in Portland with the Trail Blazers. He went on to appear in just nine games with the Blazers in his rookie campaign, averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
Moses made his way to Oklahoma City in 2020, where he carved out a far more substantial role. Averaging 21.4 minutes per game over his 43 contests, Moses averaged 8.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Thunder. He finished the season on a high note, racking up a career-high in both points (24) and blocks (seven), while also snagging down 18 rebounds in the team’s season finale against the Los Angeles Clippers.