One of the biggest moves in the 2019 NBA free agent frenzy was Kemba Walker signing a four-year, $141 million dollar deal with the Boston Celtics.
Walker’s impact is limitless because of his overall game – scoring, passing, leadership- which is why this team may have a better 2019-20 season with a different top tier point guard.
The experiment of Kyrie Irving last year was not the answer to the Celtics prayers; it actually caused more problems between the team chemistry. With his departure to the Brooklyn Nets to play with Kevin Durant, the Celtics replaced Irving quickly with Kemba Walker.
Walker’s new presence in Boston gives them the fresh start they need. With two new point guards in Kemba Walker and rookie Carsen Edwards, this gives Kemba Walker the best opportunity for his NBA career to expand to a higher level with a better overall team.
"I gave [the Hornets] every single day I could possibly give them. Now, it's about competing at the highest level …" @KembaWalker tells @notthefakeSVP he wanted to give himself the best chance to make a playoff run. pic.twitter.com/7f3neuZGTO
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 1, 2019
Last season may have been Walker’s best season of his career. Making third team All-NBA and playing all 82 games in the regular season, he averaged a career high 25.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. Knocking down many tough shots (given the high volume), Walker’s field goal percentage was 43.4%, showing he can consistently shoot the ball.
His greatest game of the 2018-19 season was played on November 17th against the Philadelphia 76ers. Walker scored a career-high 60 points with an unbelievable performance that will always be remembered in his portfolio, however, the 76ers ended up winning in overtime.
Kemba Walker has always been a scoring threat in the NBA. His pick and roll game will impact the offense because of his shiftiness and speed. It’ll open up the floor a lot more for the Celtics, making it easier for him to create shots for himself and his teammates on the perimeter. His hard hesitation and crossover moves are lethal and create most of the free space he gets when he shoots the ball. He finishes at the rim with contact and can make acrobatic shots when he attacks the basket with big men in the paint.
With some of Walker’s new list of teammates – Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward – his shooting ability will help them even more.
Swift Passing Vision
In Charlotte, Kemba Walker became the franchise leader in a variety of categories including assists (3308 total). Walker’s ability to create space gives him time to read the defense and find the open man on a drive.
Last season, the Celtics were fifth in the league in assists per game at 26.3 as a team. With the addition of Walker, his impact towards the team’s ball control and movement will help them even more with their assist numbers. His vision is clear, even when he’s going at his top speed, which is why he will help a lot in Brad Stevens’s offensive system.
In a recent Player’s Tribune article, “Boston, Lets Do This“, Walker clearly expresses his excitement to join the Boston team and also his lifelong love for Charlotte that he will always have.
“Charlotte…you are my people forever. You’re family,” Walker said. “And Boston…i’ll see you all in September. I’m ready.”
The Celtics need a mentor who has playoff experience and the right team attitude to succeed come playoff time. Walker brings that to the table on the court, outside the arena, and in the locker room. Kemba Walker was not surrounded by a lot of highly skilled players in Charlotte and led the way as the team’s franchise player for eight seasons. The support he has received in Charlotte was nonstop and won’t stop when he starts for Boston.
“I’m a leader in my own way…But what I do is I take pride in making my teammates better- I’m that lead by example type of guy…we’re going to grind for those buckets…we’re going to grind for those stops…but I’ll tell you what else: we are going to have some fun out there.”
Walker deserved to get paid way more before becoming a third team All-NBA player last season, but Charlotte never offered the max. He still showed loyalty and love towards the city of Charlotte throughout the years, widely impacting the community. Bringing a player like that with a positive mindset and sacrifice is one you can trust.
With this new opportunity for Walker to play with a stronger overall team and a bigger franchise, he will immediately impact the Celtics next season and looks to help bring them the Larry O’Brien trophy back to their trophy room.
The sky is the limit for Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics.