The news broke out just this Thursday that the Boston Celtics are now the favourites to land Kemba Walker. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first one to report it, and if the move does go through, from a talent standpoint, it would send the Celtics to the top of the Easter Conference. It would also, to a large extent, offset the expected loss of Kyrie Irving.
Walker to offset the loss of Irving
While Walker may not be as good as Irving, the difference between the two is not as large as some think. Kemba Walker is definitely one of the most dangerous off the dribble 3 point shooters in the whole of the NBA. He is exceptionally quick with handles and can go past the best of defenders. In fact, as an off-ball player working off dribbe-handoffs and screens, he’s better than Irving.
Walker had a very impressive 25.6 points per game in the league last season, the 10th best in the NBA. That is almost two points better than Irving. While the Hornets lack quality on their roster, it is thanks to Walker that they battle seemingly every team and come close in a ton of games.
📽️‼️ LEAKED FOOTAGE of the Kyrie Irving tribute video for when he comes back to the TD Garden pic.twitter.com/Hitnfu06le
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) June 30, 2019
Walker a better teammate than Irving
Beyond the stats, Walker is also a very good teammate. He won’t affect the team’s performance the way Irving did. He is a highlight reel player, an electric player of the likes of Steph Curry when he gets going.
The only downside that can be said about this move is that the arrival of Walker would stunt the growth of other players, especially Brown and Tatum. Although Walker is miles better than either, and still young at 29 years, so that should not be such a big issue, long term.