After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in the last four seasons, ultimately coming up short of their ultimate goal of reaching the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics entered this season with a ton of expectations, but they have failed to meet any of them. It almost looks like this team has regressed from the previous year, even though they are basically the same team, which is not good news if you are a Celtics fan.
This team just does not look like they have the capability to make the NBA Finals or even the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth time in the last five seasons. With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, the Celtics should be much better than they actually are and they have underachieved all season long.
The Celtics’ bench and their frontcourt is a complete mess and as a result, they currently find themselves 29-26 and they don’t look like a legitimate contender in the East. This team could very much find themselves fighting to get past the first round, which is not a good look for them at all since they were considered a championship favorite entering the season.
In the offseason, expect some big changes to be made to this organization and one of them could be the departure of point guard Kemba Walker. He has been really solid in his time with the Celtics, but if they fail to make a deep playoff run this season, he will likely be on the move via a trade since the Celtics will not think about trading Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum.
If Kemba does hit the trade market, his value will likely be low, which is why several teams could possibly be interested in trading for the former All-Star point guard. So what teams could show interest in taking a chance on Walker in the offseason?
Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are fantastic players when healthy, but outside of these two guys, the Dallas Mavericks do not have a lot of reliable scoring options that they can feel comfortable with in a potential championship-run. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been solid on the wing this season but he is set to become an unrestricted free agent, Josh Richardson will be in the final year of his contract next season and this team does not have any relatively young players that are set to take on a massive up-tick in minutes other than backup point guard Jalen Brunson.
As a result, with not much salary space to be able to go after All-Star talents in free agency, the next best thing the Mavericks can do is trade for a player like Kemba Walker, who’s trade value may be down in the offseason due to the Boston Celtics potentially looking to move him as soon as possible.
If the Dallas Mavericks are to be true title contenders moving forward, they need to try and acquire another All-Star talent to pair with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis because when it comes down to it, this team does not have a reliable third scoring option right now. Doncic and Porzingis will get their points and will be productive, but where will the rest of the scoring come from?
By adding Kemba Walker, this question is easily answered and the Mavericks would not have a problem finding scoring out on the court in their starting rotation. This season, Walker is averaging 17.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and is shooting 34.0% from three-point range, giving the Mavericks exactly what they need in a third scoring option.
Also, they would have Walker for at least two to three seasons, unlike some of their other role players on their roster that are set to be free agents in the near future. Going out and trading for Kemba Walker while keeping Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis maximizes the Mavericks’ chances of competing for a title and sets them up for a ton of success for many years to come.
New Orleans Pelicans
The only reason the Pelicans would go after a guy like Kemba Walker is if they are unable to sign Lonzo Ball in the offseason. The former #2 overall pick is set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason and if chooses not to return to New Orleans, the Pelicans could look to add an All-Star caliber point guard like Walker.
If Ball does re-sign, the Pelicans would not be looking to target Kemba Walker, but he could definitely have an impact for this team next to Zion and Ingram. Outside of the former two Duke Blue Devils, the Pelicans have been searching for answers offensively, which is why Kemba could be a great addition for them,
Lonzo Ball has been great, as has second-year combo-guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, but Eric Bledsoe has been inconsistent in New Orleans this year. Packaging Bledsoe with someone else in a trade for Walker could make a ton of sense, especially if Lonzo Ball signs elsewhere in NBA free agency.
As things stand right now, the New Orleans Pelicans will likely be missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, but this team is on the horizon of being a really solid basketball team in the Western Conference. Zion Williamson is unlike anything we have ever seen before in NBA history and Brandon Ingram is a stud.
All this team needs is more high-level talents offensively and with Kemba Walker leading them as their point guard, the Pelicans could definitely be a team to look out for in the West. They have the athletes and young talents to be able to be an intriguing team for many years to come, but this decision to target Kemba Walker relies solely on Lonzo Ball’s decision to stay or walk.
Much like the Pelicans, the Timberwolves could target Kemba Walker, but their decision lies on whether or not they want to keep D’Angelo Russell. After trading for Russell at the trade deadline last season, he has missed a lot of time due to injury, and they could look to salvage value for him now while he still has some.
Whether they trade Russell to the Celtics for Kemba or they make this move as two separate transactions, getting rid of D’Angelo Russell for Kemba Walker could definitely make a ton of sense for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they would have to be willing to invest the money in Walker.
He is owed $36M next season and $37.6M for the 2022-23 season should he opt into his player option. This is a lot of money for the Timberwolves to invest in, which could definitely be something that steers them away from potentially trading for Kemba Walker.
However, pairing him up with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards could definitely give the Timberwolves the firepower to finally turn things around. Since the 2005-06 season, the T-Wolves have put together just one winning season and playoff appearance, which is why they are eager to make a big move to change their losing ways.
Making the move for Walker would definitely be a big, statement move, but they would have to cut ties with D’Angelo Russell to do so. There is no word on what the future holds for the Timberwolves at this time, but it is a very real possibility that they could look to shake things up roster wise in a big way this offseason.