Opinion: It’s Time for the Celtics to Trade Kemba Walker

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The following is an opinion piece; the author’s views are his alone, and not necessarily representative of the entire paper.

The Boston Celtics’ struggles this season cannot be blamed on a single player, but a trade involving Kemba Walker could help bring a new energy and fire to the team’s season.

Through the 2020-2021 NBA season so far, the Boston Celtics are sitting at a .500 record with 14 wins and 14 losses. After reaching the Eastern Conference finals during last season and ultimately losing in six games to the Miami Heat, this season was expected by many to be a huge leap for the Celtics and their young core.

This season has obviously been very different than any other season before due to the Coronavirus and lacking fan attendance at games. The Celtics have dealt with their fair share of Covid cases on the team, specifically with star Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams, which caused other players in close contact to have to sit out for a few games. There have also been injuries to players such as Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, but none of these setbacks has been as impactful as the injury of Kemba Walker.

After the 2019-2020 NBA season ended, Walker decided it was the right time for him to get stem cell surgery on his knees. This decision made him miss the first few games of the season and has caused him to get off to a rocky start.

This rocky start has caused his season averages to drop well below his career averages in previous years. His points per game and assists per game usually sit at around 19.8 and 5.5 respectively, but this season those averages have dropped to 16.4 and 4.0.

While this might not seem like a huge drop off in his play, it has become apparent to the casual NBA fan that he just isn’t playing like his usual self.

Before his injury Walker was a premier point guard in the league and was nicely compensated for it, earning himself a four-year, $138.7 million contract. This has caused Celtics fans to question if he is really worth what he is being paid, and trade rumors are starting to arise.

I personally believe that Walker is a great point guard and will recover from this injury in due time. That being said, his production over the past two seasons with the Celtics has been kind of underwhelming and I’m not totally supportive of his contract.

He helped bring a good energy to the team and elevated the play of the players around him, but the amount of money he is getting makes me wonder what else the Celtics could have done. I think that searching out into the market and exploring trades for Walker would help Boston in a few ways.

First of all, the team this year is in need of some motivation and a new look on things. This season hasn’t been going according to plan, and there has to be something changed about that. Also, I believe that the Celtics could acquire another great player or even a few for Walker, and could free up some money to try and pursue other players either during the season or during free agency.

The Celtics should explore what they can get from a Walker trade and should be open to the idea of letting him go to another team in exchange for some assets. His time in Boston has been greatly appreciated, and I think that a decision that involved him leaving the team would be sad for Boston fans, but they would be able to get over it.