After a very disappointing season by the Celtics and a historic season by the OKC Thunder, in a bad way, both teams are looking for ways to improve their teams. As the Celtics were open to getting rid of an injured riddled Kemba Walker and his expensive contract, the Thunder were looking for ways to get more picks and better assets. Henceforward, the 2 teams were a match made in heaven for an inevitable trade. As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics sent Kemba Walker, the 16th pick in this year’s draft and a 2025 2nd-round pick to the Thunder for the veteran Al Horford, 2nd-year rookie Moses Brown and a 2023 2nd-round pick.
For the Thunder, they continue to stock up on draft picks for this year’s draft and future drafts to come. Not only does OKC end up with 3 first-round picks, but they could also end up with 2 top 5 picks depending on how the lottery draft selections end up. If that happens, they could possibly trade these picks and some of their up-and-coming young players for an underrated or star player in the NBA. In my eyes, Sam Presti is now Danny Ainge 2.0, without the fleecing of another NBA team (as of now).
As for the Celtics and as a Boston fan, I see this as an absolute win. As much as I’m going to miss Kemba’s enthusiasm and commitment to helping out the green team win, it’ll be great to have the fan-favorite in Al Horford back in Beantown. Even though he’s not the same player he was when he was with Boston, having him and Moses Brown compete with Robert Williams and Tristan Thompson for a spot in the starting lineup will be great for the 4 of them. That’s if they are all here still be September/October.
In addition, this also means that Brad Stevens is officially giving the keys to Tatum and Brown to drive the Celtics for years to come. Not having to worry about if Walker will be able to match or outperform one or both of the 2 Boston stars allows them to have the ball more often. Also worth noting that this trade is a huge salary dump and shows that the next player on the move will most likely be Tristan Thompson. In his first season as a GM, Stevens will now have little more wiggle room to work with in order to create a roster good enough to get back to the ECF and possibly the Finals.