BOSTON -- There was a series of pre-free agency maneuvering and angling throughout the NBA, with the Boston Celtics among those prominent in such discussions.
But none bigger than the four-year, $141 million contract the Celtics agreed to with Kemba Walker according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The three-time All-Star fills the void left by Kyrie Irving who has reportedly agreed to join Kevin Durant in Brooklyn next season.
Adding Walker to the mix became more than a pipe dream for the Celtics when it became clear that the Hornets were not going to come close to paying Walker the five-year, $221 million super-max contract he was eligible for after being named to the All-NBA's third team this season.
In fact, the offer to Walker was significantly less than that, in large part because of the Hornet’s luxury tax concerns.
That, combined with the Celtics’ max contract offer and a better opportunity for Walker to make a deep playoff run, became important factors in Boston’s efforts to convince the 29-year-old to leave the Hornets after having spent his first eight seasons with the franchise.
Now the Celtics must set their sights on adding another big man to the mix as a potential replacement for Al Horford.
But before we move on from Horford entirely, there were reports on Sunday of a potential three-team trade involving Brooklyn (for Kyrie Irving) and Charlotte (for Terry Rozier) hat could essentially create an opportunity for Boston to sign Walker and bring Horford back and generate the full mid-level exception worth $9.8 million.
Terry Rozier is prepared to sign a three-year, $58 million contract with the Hornets according to multiple reports on Sunday which could potentially be worked into part of the three-team deal.
However, NBC Sports Boston reached out to a league source who indicated while it is very possible of such a deal coming about, they placed the chances of it happening as “highly unlikely” because of the Brooklyn component.
“Boston has to make it worth Brooklyn’s time to do something like this,” the source said. “Why would they? A draft pick? Boston will probably have to come off more than just a pick, unless it’s a lottery-type pick or a likely lottery-type pick. And if you’re Boston, is that really worth it?”
In other NBA-related free agency news …
Kevin Durant (four years, $164 million) has signed on with the Brooklyn Nets.
Kyrie Irving (four years, $141 million) has signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
Khris Middleton (five years, $178 million) and Brook Lopez (four years, $52 million) will be returning to Milwaukee on multi-year contracts.
The Dallas Mavericks and Kristaps Porzingis (five years, $158 million) have come to terms on a new deal.
J.J. Redick has agreed to a two-year, $26.5 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Thadeus Young (three years, $41 million) will take his talents to the Chicago Bulls.
More to come …
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