If reports are true, the Kyrie Irving era is over for the Celtics and the Kemba Walker era is about to begin. As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kemba will sign with the Celtics for 4-years/$141 million. Kyrie was a good basketball player but not a great culture guy. Kemba is a good basketball player and a great culture guy. Celtics fans rejoice because you will no longer have to hear about the flatness of the earth, the (kinda horrible) acting and how much he knows about leadership. Instead get used to Kemba, the former UConn and March Madness legend, the franchise-leading scorer for the Hornets, and an all-around drama-less superstar.
This makes sense for Kemba because in a lot of ways, he’ll have a similar role to his one in Charlotte. With Brad Stevens at the helm, Kemba will flourish as the primary scorer and closer for the Celtics. Expect the Celtics to make a move for a center, now that Al Horford is probably going elsewhere. The Celtics core now looks like:
- Kemba Walker
- Marcus Smart
- Jaylen Brown
- Jayson Tatum
- Gordon Hayward
People saying the Celtics didn’t use their assets correctly are just inaccurate. While they may not be a finals contender right now, they could become one in the future. What the Celtics have now is options, as they could trade Brown or Smart, sign a good free agent when they get off of Hayward, or trade draft capital/young players. One thing to note here is that the Celtics must have known they had a great chance to sign a max player. This brings their draft night moves into a much clearer picture.
The biggest loser out of all this is not Charlotte, it’s actually Dallas. If Charlotte had re-signed Kemba, it would’ve been more of the same and paying the luxury tax for mediocrity. Hornets fans should welcome Kemba leaving since it offers them a fresh start. Dallas is losing out on a guy that could’ve really pushed them over the top. The league is now up for grabs and every team is making moves to be the next dynasty. Did Dallas miss their opportunity?
With this signing, Boston is getting a very good player and a great culture guy/morale booster. All of the reports out of Charlotte point to Kemba being a great guy off the court, and when compared to Kyrie, the Celtics can only go up in terms of leadership. For this Celtics team, Walker might be the perfect guy to rally them and make a playoff run. The Celtics aren’t making themselves an immediate contender, and they never may be with Kemba, but they found a great replacement for Kyrie Irving.
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