Celtics Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter and Terry Rozier

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2019

FILE - In this March 26, 2019, file photo, Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) reacts after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C. The three-time All-Star point says he’d be willing to work with the Hornets and take less than the “supermax” $221 million contract he’s eligible to receive to re-sign with Charlotte (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Point guard Kyrie Irving never quite seemed to fit in with the Boston Celtics this past season. Team chemistry was an issue overall, but Irving, in particular, often looked like a great individual and not a great team leader.

According to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, a disagreement with team president Danny Ainge may have played a role in the Irving dysfunction.

The reality is that the Celtics probably won't long lament the loss of Irving if he does indeed sign elsewhere this offseason. They will, however, need to replace him. This brings us to Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Walker will be a free-agent target when the market opens on June 30:

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

We can scratch "stealth." Boston and Dallas are at the front of the line that will be trying to lure Kemba Walker away from Charlotte, league sources say

Adding the 29-year-old would make plenty of sense for Boston. Walker is a talented point guard in his own right—he averaged 25.6 points and 5.9 assists per game last season—and he may be more of a team player than Irving ever was.

"Kemba would be the ideal addition for the Celtics ... if Danny Ainge can pull it off," Jeff Goodman of Stadium said Tuesday on Twitter. "Not quite as talented as Kyrie, but a leader, all the intangibles, can score and also make life easier for his teammates."

The big question, of course, is whether the Celtics can actually land Walker on the open market. If they can, they'll have little trouble turning the page on the Irving era in Boston.

However, Irving isn't the only player the Celtics will potentially lose in free agency. Center Al Horford has long appeared likely to leave. In fact, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe (h/t Clips Nationbelieve that a "mystery team" may already have a deal in place to acquire him.

Point guard Terry Rozier could also be out, depending on how things unfold. In an article for The Athletic, Shams Charania said the New York Knicks are "keeping an eye on" Rozier and could pursue him as a secondary option in free agency.

Losing Rozier will be less of an issue if the Celtics land Walker, but Horford is a different story. He's been a key role player in Boston over the past three seasons.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter could be a free-agent target and a possible replacement for Horford:

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

Free agent center Enes Kanter is expected to receive interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics on June 30, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

As Haynes pointed out, the Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers could also be interested in Kanter, so he definitely isn't a lock to join the team if the Celtics do want him.

Regardless of who the Celtics actually land in free agency, their roster is likely to look a bit different than it did a year ago.


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