According to a recently proposed trade idea, the Boston Celtics could improve their big man rotation by acquiring LaMarcus Aldridge from the San Antonio Spurs in a deal centered on point guard Kemba Walker.
As explained on Wednesday morning by Bleacher Report, Walker was originally expected to be the Celtics’ “go-to” scorer. However, he took a back seat to youngsters Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who emerged as the team’s top two scorers in both regular season and postseason play.
Considering how Walker might be Boston’s third scoring option as long as he remains with the organization, Bleacher Report suggested that the team could move him while he is still valuable in order to upgrade their frontcourt. To that end, the publication recommended a deal that would allow the Celtics to acquire Aldridge and point guard Dejounte Murray from the Spurs, in exchange for Walker and center Enes Kanter.
As noted, Aldridge will likely be a significant upgrade over erstwhile Celtics starting center Daniel Theis if he ends up in Boston. The seven-time All-Star selection continued to produce solid numbers in San Antonio in 2019-20, averaging 18.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks. He also converted on 38.9 percent of his three-point shot attempts, underscoring his status as a strong outside shooter for a big man.
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report wrote that Murray might turn out to be a better fit than Walker on a Celtics roster loaded with youth and talent at the wing positions. The publication suggested that if the team acquires him, he could start alongside either Brown or Marcus Smart to form an “elite defensive backcourt.”
Regarding Walker and Kanter’s potential impact if they get moved to the Spurs, the outlet wrote that both players, particularly the former, could give them the boost they need to return to the playoffs after failing to qualify in 2019-20.
“The Spurs need an injection of talent if they want to make the playoffs next season, and Walker would help create a one-two scoring punch with DeMar DeRozan. Getting Kanter would give them some size and rebounding to make up for the loss of Aldridge, and San Antonio looked good in the bubble even while the 35-year-old center was out following shoulder surgery.”
Per Basketball-Reference, Walker averaged 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, and shot 42.5 percent and 38.1 percent from three-point range in the 2019-20 campaign. Despite serving as Theis’ backup, Kanter was productive in the limited playing time he was given, registering 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in just 16.9 minutes per game.