The Boston Celtics reportedly are pushing all of their chips onto Kemba Walker's table.
The Celtics are expected to offer the Charlotte Hornets point guard a four-year, $141 million maximum contract once free agency begins this Sunday, June 30, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday.
Wojnarowski, who reported earlier the Celtics were the "frontrunner" to sign Walker, added the 29-year-old is Boston's "No. 1 priority" in free agency, and that Walker is "increasingly likely" to accept the Celtics' max-contract deal.
The Hornets in theory could offer Walker a five-year, $221 million "supermax" contract -- $81 million more than the Celtics can offer -- but The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Thursday morning that Walker's talks with Charlotte have reached a "stalemate," suggesting the Hornets weren't willing to pay up for their All-Star point guard.
The Celtics would have to renounce their rights to pending free agents Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier (restricted) to free up money to sign Walker, but it appears they're fully prepared to do so.
UPDATE (2:10 p.m. ET): Stephen A. Smith reported Thursday afternoon on ESPN that Charlotte offered Walker a five-year contract "somewhere in the ballpark of $160-plus million," about $60 million less than the supermax.
"My sources tell me that Kemba Walker has informed the Charlotte Hornets and Michael Jordan he doesn’t want to be there," Smith added. "... Kemba Walker is going to be a Boston Celtic."
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