The Oklahoma City Thunder made a savvy move two weeks ago, shipping Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Kemba Walker, the 16th overall pick in the 2021 draft and a 2025 second-round pick.
Walker struggled this past season due to a knee injury, but he still averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He still has a few good years left in him, yet some fans are confused as to why Oklahoma City would want to acquire him since it’s rebuilding.
During a recent press conference, Thunder general manager Sam Presti opened up about the Walker trade and how it came to fruition.
“The Celtics had some interest in Al. We’ve had a few different conversations,” Presti said, via OKC Thunder Wire. “When Brad (Stevens) assumed the role of running the front office, it was kind of a natural conversation that came up.”
Presti went on to say this trade made a lot of sense for both the Celtics and Thunder. As for why he wanted Walker, it turns out Presti was impressed by his ability to create shots.
“The 16th pick in any draft is really, really hard to get ahold of, and getting a player like Walker, who like I said before, shot creation is at a big premium … so it just makes sense for us.”
Sam Presti said the Kemba Walker trade with the Celtics made sense for both teams and Al Horford himself. https://t.co/c3tObNsxkk
— OKC Thunder Wire (@The_ThunderWire) June 30, 2021
Walker could rebuild his value on the trade market with a strong season for the Thunder. We saw Chris Paul go this route a year ago, and looking back it’s fair to say that plan worked to perfection.
Do you think Kemba Walker will have a bounce-back year?