Free agency doesn’t officially begin til 6pm on Sunday but a couple huge dominoes have already fallen. Kemba Walker has committed to sign with the Boston Celtics while Kyrie Irving is officially moving on.
Walker is on his way to Boston where tomorrow he will sign a four-year, $141 million contract with the Celtics as soon as free agency opens. The news was first reported by Stadium’s Shams Charnia.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 29, 2019
The 8-year veteran will replace Kyrie Irving who is meeting with the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Sunday with both sides prepare to move on a four-year, $141 million contract as well. That news first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Walker, a three-time All-Star had one of the best seasons of his career in 2018-19 for Charlotte. He averaged 25.6 points, 5.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and shot 43.4% from the field, including 35.6% on 3-pointers.
Walker should come close to replacing Kyrie’s production and figures to be a better locker room presence than the moody Irving who did not jell with his younger teammates or head coach Brad Stevens in Boston.
Walker could have signed a more lucrative deal in Charlotte, but according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium Sports and the Good ‘N Plenty Podcast on CLNS Media, the 3 time all star felt he could go deeper in the Playoffs with the Celtics and their core of Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown. Where as in Charlotte Walker had to pretty much do it all himself.
Source close to Kemba Walker told me that primary reason for the All-Star point guard choosing Boston was chance to go deep in playoffs — and play with talented guys like Tatum, Hayward and Jaylen Brown. Doesn’t feel as if he has to do it all by himself – which was case in CLT.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) June 29, 2019
In order to be able to afford Walker the Celtics will renounce their rights to guard Terry Rozier according to Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes. This makes Rozier an unrestricted free agent.
Rozier has reportedly received interest from the New York Knicks on a short term deal.
Boston will renounce the rights to guard Terry Rozier – to open up a max slot for Kemba Walker – and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 29, 2019
Rozier had a disappointing 2018-2019 season, averaged 9.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game while shooting a dreadful 38.7 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from three-point range.