Does this trade make sense for the Oklahoma City Thunder?
This was Kemba Walker’s second season in Boston and over the last two years, he has averaged 19.9 points, 4.8 assists and has shot 37.2% from three-point range with the Celtics. Walker is definitely not to be blamed for the Celtics lack of success over the years, but he has only played in 99 regular season games due to injuries and his contract is way overpriced given his value to his team.
The Thunder would definitely not be getting a franchise-altering player with Kemba Walker, but he could be a great building block for them and their young team. Walker is under contract this season and then has a $37.6M player option for the 2022-23 season, which he likely will not decline, which means that OKC could look to utilize him as their leader of their young team.
With guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Darius Bazley, Theo Maledon and two possible lottery picks this offseason, the Thunder have a plethora of young, high-level talent with a ton of potential, but this team does not really have an identity right now.
Bringing in a guy like Kemba Walker could make a lot of sense for the Thunder not only because they have the cap space to do so, but because he can help mold the future of this franchise. Young players are nothing without veteran leadership and we saw glimpses of what this Thunder team could look like moving forward when they had Chris Paul last season.
Player development is going to be the focal point of the Oklahoma City Thunder over the next couple of seasons and they are not going to be in a position to contend for the playoffs for at least a few years, which is why bringing in Kemba Walker to help develop the young backcourt of this team makes complete sense.
He is a team-first type of guy, a very unselfish player and no teammate of Kemba Walker has ever had anything bad to say about the guys, which is why he is the perfect veteran player for the Thunder to add this offseason, especially since they can dump Al Horford in the process.