NBA Rumors: Proposed Celtics-Mavericks Blockbuster Would Feature Kemba Walker & Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis on his way to the locker room
Gettyimages | Hector Vivas
Basketball

After struggling in the first half of the 2020-21 NBA season, rumors surrounding All-Star center Kristaps Porzingis and his future with the Dallas Mavericks have started to heat up. With his inability to stay healthy in Dallas, there is growing speculation around the league that the Mavericks have started gauging the market for the Latvian center. The Mavericks have already denied that they intend to trade Porzingis, but most people are still expecting him to change teams before the 2021 trade deadline.

Celtics Swap Kemba Walker For Kristaps Porzingis

Kemba Walker helplessly watching Kristaps Porzingis dunk
Gettyimages | Tom Pennington

One of the aspiring contenders that are being frequently linked to Porzingis is the Boston Celtics. In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report came up with a blockbuster trade idea that would allow Porzingis to swap teams with Kemba Walker. In the proposed trade scenario, the Celtics would acquire Porzingis and Trey Burke from the Mavericks by sending them a package that includes Walker, Robert Williams III,  Grant Williams, a top-10 protected 2021 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick.

Kristaps Porzings Fills 'Al Horford-Sized Hole' In Boston

Kristaps Porzingis going up against Al Horford
Gettyimages | Maddie Meyer

Porzingis would undeniably be an intriguing addition to the Celtics. When he's 100 percent healthy, Buckley believes that he's capable of filling the "Al Horford-sized hole" in their frontcourt. Aside from being a defensive-minded big man, he would also give the Celtics a very reliable scoring option under the basket, a great rebounder, and a legitimate threat from beyond the arc. This season, the 25-year-old Latvian center is averaging 20.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.7 steals while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from the three-point range, per ESPN.

Kristaps Porzingis Boost Celtics' Championship Odds

Kristaps Porzingis trying to score agains Paul George
Gettyimages | Pool

Taking the role as the Celtics' third fiddle behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown would definitely force Porzingis to make certain adjustments with his offensive game. However, if he could mesh well with Tatum and Brown and stay away from any major injury, it would dramatically change the Celtics' fate in the 2020-21 NBA season. The lethal trio of Porzingis, Tatum, and Brown would give the Celtics a realistic chance of beating Eastern Conference powerhouses like the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Philadelphia 76ers in a best-of-seven series.

Why The Trade Make Sense For Mavericks

Kemba Walker running the play for the Celtics
Gettyimages | Andy Lyons

The proposed scenario would be worth exploring for the Mavericks if they are already having second thoughts about keeping Porzingis on their roster. The suggested trade would allow them to replace Porzingis with another All-Star in Walker while acquiring two young and promising players and future draft assets.

"The Mavs, meanwhile, might do good to turn Porzingis—a 7'3" center with a frightening injury history and a massive contract—into a pair of prospects and two draft picks," Buckley wrote. "And, oh yeah, a four-time All-Star in Walker, who, when he's right, offers enough scoring, table-setting and outside shooting to coexist with and complement Luka Doncic."