NBA Free Agency: Kemba Walker inks 4-year deal with Celtics

Mandatory Credit: Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images /

Kemba Walker has officially put his signature on a four-year, $141 million deal with the Boston Celtics, replacing Kyrie Irving as the team’s star.

It’s official: Kemba Walker is a Boston Celtic.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Walker has agreed to a four-year, $141 million maximum contract. On a day when the team lost Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics swooped in quickly to lure the All-Star guard away from Charlotte.

It was a great recovery for the Celtics, who were always expected to lose Irving this summer. With Walker now in Celtic green, Boston can now build around Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. The former two, who were linked in trade rumors since last summer, are less likely to be traded now.

As for Charlotte, losing Walker was a blow.

He was the face of the franchise and grew into one of the league’s more dynamic scorers. However, the Hornets failed to assemble a competitive team around him, often making him a one-man-show in the Queen City.

At the end of the season, Walker expressed that his first inclination was to stay with the Hornets, but further reports suggested that Charlotte’s front office brass wasn’t ready to pony up the money Walker’s camp was seeking.

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During that time, another team emerged, the Celtics, who were looking hard to recruit him after it became a certainty that Irving would leave town. Signing Walker virtually guarantees that the Celtics are out of the race for any other the other top-tier free agents and all-but-guarantees that Al Horford, their glue guy the last past seasons, will be gone as well.

That doesn’t matter, however, as the trio of Walker, Brown, and Tatum should make the Celtics players in what is surely shaping up to be a wide-open Eastern Conference next season.