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Rumor: Celtics expected to shop Kemba Walker this offseason

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Let the NBA trade rumors and speculation begin!

2021 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to the Celtics offseason. Let the NBA trade rumors and speculation begin!

This one via MassLive’s Brian Robb.

Kemba Walker is one of the most overpaid players in the NBA and league sources expect the Celtics to explore moving him in a trade to help create some current and future salary flexibility and reduce what is currently set to be the highest tax bill in team history (if the team wants to re-sign Fournier for market value).

That’s hardly surprising considering his salary and the lack of production from Kemba due mostly to injuries and load management. I still see a path for Walker to be a productive part of this team going forward (perhaps as an expensive 6th man?), but the tax bill might be too much to justify those kinds of lowered expectations. The question is what would it cost us to move his salary? Is there someone out there willing to take a flyer on him without demanding draft compensation in return? We’ll see.

Another interesting note from Brian’s story involves Marcus Smart’s value.

Marcus Smart is a useful trade chip but he only has one year left on his deal so his value is limited on the open market. One league source told MassLive that getting a late first round pick for Smart would be a challenge unless Boston took back an unattractive contract as part of the deal. For that reason, it might be tough for the Celtics to find a deal they like enough to move him.

I always come back to the feeling that Smart is probably more valuable to the Celtics than he is to other teams. Then again, a lot of teams could probably use a defensive difference maker with a knack for making winning plays.

I had not really thought about the fact that he’s entering the final year of his deal. So even if the team doesn’t trade him, they’ll have to consider the challenge of re-signing him the following season. Something to keep an eye on.

Should be an interesting offseason to be sure.