Celtics Talk Podcast: Will Kemba be back with C's next season?


One of the offseason tasks for the Boston Celtics is figuring out what to do with Kemba Walker.

The veteran point guard didn't miss many games in his eight-year career with the Charlotte Hornets. His time with the Celtics has been far different in that regard. Injuries have severely impacted his availability for Boston. He missed 29 games during the 2020-21 regular season, as well as the last two games of the team's first-round playoff series versus the Brooklyn Nets.

On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, our insider Chris Forsberg was joined by Jeff Goodman of Stadium to discuss Walker's future in Boston.

"You're going to have two-week stretches where you get the old Kemba, and we saw that this year," Goodman said. "But more often than not, you're going to get unreliable Kemba, and you don't know what you're going to get from game-to-game, from week-to-week, from month-to-month.

"Having said that, what can you do with him? He's making $36 million next year and then he's got a player option for $37.5 million the year after. He's not turning that down. So you have Kemba for two more years at maximum. So you gotta pray that Kemba is healthier more than he's not, and that he's able to play in the games that matter. I don't know what you can do to move Kemba Walker. I just don't know who takes him."

Celtics Talk Podcast: Is Kemba back next season? Talking Boston's biggest offseason decisions with Jeff Goodman | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Walker played well for stretches during the regular season. For example, he averaged 28.1 points over his final seven regular season games, including four 30-point performances during that span. Overall, he scored 19.3 points per game, which is an impressive number on its own, but it's also a bit underwhelming for someone on a max contract.

The primary issue in trying to find a deal for Walker is that contract.

"The $36 million contract makes it extremely prohibitive to find deals that work," Forsberg explained. "Are you moving him to Oklahoma City with draft capital and bringing back Al Horford? ... Do you move him to Dallas for (Kristaps) Porzingis and you say, two injury-prone guys and maybe a change of scenery shakes it up. The benefit to Dallas is they get out a year earlier because Porzingis is under contract for three more years, but I don't know if that's any better for where these teams are going. John Wall? There's just not a lot of good options."

The best-case scenario for the Celtics might just be Walker remaining with the team and hopefully being healthy on a more consistent basis because trading him could prove pretty difficult. It's hard to envision a trade working out unless the Celtics attach a lot of draft capital and/or take back another team's bad contract.

Also in the new episode: Forsberg and Goodman also discuss whether the Celtics should give Robert Williams an extension and if Bradley Beal would ever want to play with Tatum in Boston. Also, Wyc Grousbeck joins Trenni Kusnierek to discuss Danny Ainge's departure and the decision to promote Brad Stevens.

Check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast on your favorite podcast app or watch it on YouTube below.

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