Kemba Walker Says He Signed Celtics Contract to Compete at 'Highest Level'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 1, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 10: Kemba Walker #15 of the Charlotte Hornets drives to the basket during the game against the Orlando Magic on April 10, 2019 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brock Williams-Smith/Getty Images

Kemba Walker is a member of the Boston Celtics after agreeing to a four-year, $141 million contract with the C's, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Walker, who played eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, explained one reason he left the team that drafted him ninth overall in 2011.

"​I gave that organization every single thing I could give them," Walker told Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter (h/t ESPN's Tim Bontemps).

"Now it's about competing at the highest level, and we all know Boston is doing that year in and year out. I want to be part of something special in terms of competing at the highest level."

Walker excelled in Charlotte, averaging 19.8 points and 5.5 assists over eight seasons. He's coming off a career-high 25.6 points per game.

However, Charlotte has largely struggled this decade, making the playoffs twice during Walker's tenure and failing to win a postseason series. That isn't Walker's fault, of course, but the Hornets have encountered serious trouble taking the next step.

Boston doesn't look like a strong title contender next year, especially with center Al Horford now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, per Wojnarowski.

However, the 49-33 C's still have a solid core of young talent led by top-three overall draft picks Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as well as four 2019 draft picks in Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters.

Walker will undoubtedly be trusted with leading the team on and off the court as its top scorer and one of its most experienced veterans.

At any rate, Boston still looks like a clear playoff team, giving Walker a better chance to compete at a higher level. The Celtics are 18-1 to win the 2020 NBA Finals, per Caesars Palace.