The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder wasted no time becoming the first NBA teams to engage in a trade after their respective season has concluded. In a deal that was highlighted by Kemba Walker and Al Horford swapping teams, the offseason is starting off hot.
There was a focus placed on the Thunder as a potential suitor for Kemba Walker, as first noted by our own Evan Massey. The thinking behind Oklahoma City as a destination is that not only did they have a center option for the Celtics, but their rebuilding efforts make them a prime candidate to take on a bad contract.
It remains to be seen if the Thunder will end up keeping Walker for the start of the 2021-22 season. When Oklahoma City landed Chris Paul from the Houston Rockets, there was talent on the roster with an intent to compete. If the team lands a top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft…could their plans change?
There were concerns with Walker’s knee issues and there were NBA trade rumors about the Celtics shopping him before the 2020-21 season began. It felt as though Boston would surely look to move the former All-Star guard when a prime opportunity arrived, but that thought only amplified after reports surfaced of a strain in the relationship between he and the team.
Al Horford was a virtual lock to be traded this offseason. He didn’t even finish the regular season playing for the Thunder despite being healthy. Both sides mutually agreed that finding a trade suitor in the offseason would be the best outcome and he began to sit out from that point on.
Let’s take a look at how both the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder graded out for what they sent our and received in this NBA trade scenario centered around Kemba Walker.