The Boston Celtics will need a franchise point guard if Kyrie Irving leaves the team in NBA free agency, and Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker could be a target for that role.
The New York Times' Marc Stein reported Tuesday that the C's have emerged as a "stealth suitor" for the 29-year-old guard.
Boston's cap-room situation is a fluid one but the Celtics, as Danny Ainge has acknowledged, are weighing their various needs as we speak in both the backcourt (with Kyrie Irving -- and possibly Terry Rozier -- leaving) and frontcourt (with Al Horford exiting)— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2019
UPDATE (Tuesday, June 25 at 3:25 p.m. ET): Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer provided more details on the Celtics' interest in Walker.
Two NBA sources confirm @TheSteinLine report that Celtics are seriously interested in @KembaWalker. I doubt the Hornets put this thing to bed pre-emptively when free-agency opens June 30. Plenty of suitors, and I assume Kemba will listen to all the pitches.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 25, 2019
--End of Update--
Walker is the second-best unrestricted free agent point guard on the market behind Irving and almost certainly will command a max contract. He has spent his entire eight-year NBA career in Charlotte after the franchise drafted him No. 9 overall in 2011.
Walker averaged a career-high 25.6 points, along with 5.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game for the Hornets last season. He's also proven to be durable, missing just six games over the last four seasons combined. Walker was voted as an All-Star starter this past season.
The Celtics could have around $34 million in cap space when free agency begins June 30.
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