Celtics Emerge as Favorites to Land Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker with Charlotte Hornets in 2017
Kemba Walker with Charlotte Hornets in 2017. Photo by Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

Charlotte Hornets’ All-Star guard Kemba Walker is one of the more interesting names in this year’s free agency. He is eligible to sign a super-max contract with the Hornets, but several other teams are expected to pursue his services come July. Out of all those teams, Boston Celtics have somehow emerged as favorites in Walker sweepstakes.

Celtics were not expected to play a significant role in this year’s free agency, but the imminent departure of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford opting out of his contract encouraged the team to free up some salary space and get in on the fun. After considering the available options, Boston decided to focus on Walker as they view him as a perfect replacement for Irving.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Hornets’ owner Michael Jordan is not willing to offer Kemba Walker a super-max, $221 million deal to keep him in Charlotte. His sources also reveal that Walker and his agent Jeff Schwartz plan to contact Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge and see what the organization is willing to offer.

Boston is reportedly planning to present Walker with a four-year, $141 million contract, something the player is increasingly likely to say yes to.

It is important to note that in order to free up the $32.0 million in cap space needed to sign Walker, the Celtics will have to renounce the rights on Terry Rozier.

Walker is coming off a career-best season in which he averaged 25.6 points, 5.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game while making an All-Star appearance and receiving All-NBA Third Team.