It’s probably nothing, right? Right before the trade deadline, the NBA gets silly online.
On Friday morning, a day after Boston faced Kemba Walker in Dallas, the Mavericks waived the former Celtic and Jayson Tatum quote tweeted this with the transaction news:
January 6, 2023
Eye emoji, clover, clover. Internet sleuths, start sleuthing.
Walker spent two seasons in Boston. He was an All-Star starter in Year One of effectively being the Kyrie Irving replacement. The Celtics would eventually lose in the Eastern Conference Finals in the Orlando bubble. His second season was a little rockier; Walker only played 43 regular season games with a balky knee and later that offseason, he was dealt to Oklahoma City for Al Horford. He’s since been hampered with similar injuries.
If you’ve been tracking the fingerprints, something is afoot. Earlier in the week, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens traded Noah Vonleh to the San Antonio Spurs to clear a roster spot and ease the luxury tax burden. That obviously doesn’t mean that the team is looking to pick up Walker on waivers. It’s a move that creates flexibility for the roster with just over a month left before the trade deadline.
Yesterday marked the first day that teams can sign players to 10-day contracts. Right now, the Celtics don’t have a clear need in their roster. Since the return of Robert Williams, he’s rounded out a second unit that includes Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams with cameo stints by Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet, and Payton Pritchard.
But remember last season when Joe Johnson came back to Boston while the team was getting hammered by COVID? Maybe a visit from an old friend could lift the spirits of a team who has struggled on the road. Coincidentally, the Celtics play two games in Charlotte on the 14th and 16th. Pass me the Kleenex.