In an unexpected deal last month, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Al Horford to the Boston Celtics for Kemba Walker. This was a move OKC made to acquire yet another first round pick, getting the No. 16 overall pick in this week’s draft as part of the deal.
With the Thunder currently going through a rebuild, it was clear that Walker wasn’t part of the long-term plans in OKC. He’s an excellent player when healthy, but doesn’t fit the timeline of a young Thunder team who’s still a few years away from contending again at 31 years old.
While there’s plenty of teams who could use point guard help, Walker will make over $36 million next season followed by a player option worth around $37.7 million during the 2022-23 season. This totals $73.7 million over the remainder of his contract, which will make it hard for teams to acquire him even if they wanted to.
However, it appears there’s still optimism that Walker will be moved prior to the start of the 2021-22 season.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, there is an expectation within the Oklahoma City front office that barring medical issues, the Thunder will be able to move Kemba Walker for additional future assets prior to the start of the upcoming season.
Before last season, Walker had appeared four-straight NBA All-Star games. Even though he only appeared in 43 games in the 2020-21 season, the star guard averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 36.0 percent from beyond the arc.