As the 2020 offseason goes deeper, several interesting trade ideas continue to surface in the league. These include the hypothetical blockbuster deal between the Boston Celtics and the Utah Jazz involving veteran point guards Mike Conley and Kemba Walker. In the proposed scenario by Greg Patuto of NBA Analysis Network, the Celtics would send Walker, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick to the Jazz in exchange for Conley.
The suggested deal could be beneficial to the Jazz. Walker isn’t only three years younger than Conley, but he’s also under contract until the 2022-23 season. However, the Jazz wouldn’t be acquiring Walker alone in this hypothetical move. As compensation for absorbing his lucrative contract, they would also be receiving two future draft picks that they could use to add more young and promising talents to their roster or as trade chips to further solidify their core around the face of the franchise, Donovan Mitchell.
Patuto believes that the successful acquisition of Walker from the Celtics could make the Jazz’s future “even brighter.”
“The Utah Jazz is a team looking to get to that next level in a very difficult Western Conference. They were able to take the Denver Nuggets to seven games in the postseason. The future is bright with Donovan Mitchell at the helm and it could get even brighter with Kemba Walker. This trade would immediately create one of the top backcourts in the league. Mitchell and Walker are both players who could score at will and handle the ball within the offense— helping to stack better with elite offenses in the Western Conference.”
Walker could give the Jazz an upgrade at the point guard position. Compared to Conley, he’s arguably a much better scorer and a more efficient three-point shooter. Last season, he averaged 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. His arrival in Utah, if it happens, is expected to help them improve their offensive efficiency that ranked No. 9 in the league in 2019-20, scoring 110.0 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN.
Meanwhile, it might not be surprising if the Celtics really decide to pull the trigger on such a deal. It may only be more than a year since they handed Walker a massive contract, but it seems like they don’t consider him as part of their long-term plans. This was proven by their attempt to trade him for a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft that they could have used to pursue Jrue Holiday. Swapping Walker for Conley’s expiring contract would allow the Celtics to open up a huge chunk of their salary cap space in the summer of 2021 while remaining a competitive team in the Eastern Conference next season.