BOSTON LANDING – (Staff Report from Official Press Release and Announcement) – The Boston Celtics have acquired three-time All-Star and 2018-19 All-NBA guard Kemba Walker and a future second round pick (the least favorable of Brooklyn and New York’s 2020 picks) in a sign-and-trade agreement with the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for guard Terry Rozier and a future protected second round pick, the team announced.
Walker, 29, joins Boston’s backcourt after an achievement-filled season in which he averaged a career-high 25.6 points (43.4% FG, 35.6% 3-PT, 84.4% FT), 4.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 34.9 minutes, while playing in all 82 games for the second time in his career (2012-13). He was one of only two NBA players to average at least 25.0 points, and 5.0 assists while playing in all 82 regular season games (Beal).
“Kemba has excelled in this league for many years while consistently playing at a level among the NBA’s elite,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “His expansive skillset and model of consistency will fit in seamlessly with what we’re trying to accomplish as an organization.”
Walker (6-1, 184) comes to Boston from Charlotte, where he spent the first eight years of his NBA career. The Bronx, NY native produced 19.8 points (41.8% FG, 35.7% 3-PT, 83.5% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 34.1 minutes over 605 games (560 starts) in Buzz City. He’s one of 12 players selected as an NBA All-Star in each of the last three seasons dating back to 2016-17.
Over the last three seasons, Walker has averaged north of 22.0 points, and 5.0 assists, while shooting at least 35.0% from beyond the arc. He’s one of four NBA players to achieve that since 2016-17, joining Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard.
A three-year player at the University of Connecticut, Walker averaged 16.1 points (42.8% FG, 32.6% 3-PT, 78.3% FT), 4.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 111 collegiate games. He played an integral role in guiding the UCONN men’s basketball team to its third national title in 2011, producing 23.5 points (40.2% FG), 6.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists across the six-game title run.
Walker will wear No. 8 with the Celtics.