What had been speculated since the end of the disappointing 2020-21 season for the Boston Celtics came to fruition on Friday morning, as Adrian Wojnarowski reports that new President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens has traded Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Kemba is a true professional and a great teammate and player,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens. “I want to thank him for his tremendous impact, and the positive contribution he’s made both to the Celtics and the City of Boston.”
In addition to the salary cap relief Boston desired by moving Walker's contract, the Celtics will welcome back old friend Al Horford, who left the Celtics after the 2018-19 season to sign a lucrative contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. Horford played a career-low 28 games this season for the Thunder, averaging 14.2 ppg and 6.7 rebounds.
“Al played a critical role both on and off the court during his time in Boston, and we’re excited to welcome he and his family back to the Celtics,” said Stevens. “His ability to elevate teammates with his experience and leadership make for a great addition.”
To sweeten the deal the Celtics included their first-round pick (No. 16) in next month's NBA Draft, as well as a 2025 second-round pick.
Oklahoma City included Moses Brown as part of the deal, a 7-foot-2, 245-pound big man who went undrafted out of UCLA in 2019. He spent time with the Blazers and Thunder on two-way contracts and has distinguished himself in the G League.
Brown was named to the All-NBA G League First Team after season averages of 18.5 points, 13.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 26.4 minutes per game this past season. He was also placed on the NBA G League All-Defensive Team.
As for Horford, who has two years and $68.5 million left on a partially guaranteed deal for 2022-23, he enjoyed three productive seasons with the Celtics from 2017-2019 and was a key figure in Boston's Eastern Conference Finals runs.