Mannix: Trade talks ‘frustrated' Kemba Walker


It appears Kemba Walker's days in Boston are numbered.

Walker and the Celtics reportedly are "in a mutual agreement" that the All-Star guard's time with the organization has run its course. Bleacher Report's Farbod Esnaashari wrote Wednesday that Walker was "hurt" by the team's efforts to trade him.

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On Wednesday's Early Edition, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix shed more light on Walker's frustrations with the Celtics.

 "The Danny Ainge-led front office has been looking at possibilities of trading Kemba dating back to the end of last season's bubble experience," Mannix said. "From what I told, the Ainge front office saw kind of the writing on the wall in a way with Kemba Walker when it came to his knee. Remember, the knee injury which occured I believe in late January of 2020, it was still lingering in the bubble. This is after months and months of being off, and I think the Celtics front office was looking for a way to get out from under that contract.

"They ultimately were not able to do it despite having conversations with multiple teams over the last several months. I was told they discussed a deal involving Kemba Walker and LaMarcus Aldridge when Aldridge was still in San Antonio, primarily because Aldridge was on the last year of his contract whereas Kemba Walker has two years currently at about $76 million remaining on his contract.

"That frustrated Kemba Walker. Kemba is among the most loyal guys you're going to find in professional sports. Like, he would still be a Charlotte Hornet if Charlotte had stepped up to the plate during his free agency and made him the highest offer. It wasn't about going to Boston to chase a championship for Kemba, there was a lot more money on the table. So for Kemba to hear his name and understand his name was in trade rumors, that absolutely has frustrated him over the last six to eight months."

It was a frustrating season all around for Walker. In addition to the trade rumors during the Celtics' letdown season, the 31-year-old was forced to sit out the second game of back-to-backs while managing a left knee injury. He also suffered a bone bruise during the first-round series vs. the Brooklyn Nets that forced him to sit out Games 4 and 5.

Walker averaged 19.3 points per game on 42 percent shooting during the 2020-21 season. He signed a four-year, $141 million maximum contract with Boston in 2019.he signed with the C's in 2019.

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