The Boston Celtics have found an excellent replacement for Kyrie Irving in NBA free agency.

Kemba Walker has informed the Charlotte Hornets he intends to commit to joining the Celtics once free agency opens on Sunday night, per The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell. Players (with a few exceptions) cannot officially sign any contracts until July 6. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the deal is a four-year, $141 million max contract. 

Walker is one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market. He's coming off his best pro season in which he averaged a career-high 25.8 points with 5.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He also shot 35.6 percent from 3-point range and 84.4 percent from the free throw line. Walker has proven to be quite durable, too, playing in all 82 games for the Hornets last season and missing only six total over the last four seasons combined.

UConn men's basketball legend Jim Calhoun, who recruited Walker to the Huskies and coached him for three seasons, praised the 29-year-old guard's leadership and ability to make his teammates better during a recent interview with NBC Sports Boston. 

Irving's two-year stint with the Celtics ended poorly this past season, with the team struggling to the No. 4 seed and a disappointing second-round playoff exit to the Milwaukee Bucks. Irving is reportedly focused on joining the Brooklyn Nets in free agency and is 'pressing' Kevin Durant to join him. C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has done very well to find a great replacement for Irving so early in free agency. 


The next position the Celtics must upgrade is center.

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