Celtics, Mavericks Could Engage In 'Straight-Up Trade' Involving Kemba Walker & Kristaps Porzingis

Kemba Walker running the Celtics' offense
Gettyimages | Andy Lyons

After suffering a first-round playoff exit, rumors have started to swirl around veteran point guard Kemba Walker and his future with the Boston Celtics. Though he just finished his second season in Boston, Farbod Esnaashari of Bleacher Report revealed that then-Celtics president of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ainge had been trying to move him since last summer.

Walker was reportedly "hurt" by the Celtics' efforts to trade him. Though Ainge has already retired, there's a growing belief around the league that Walker and the Celtics have reached a mutual agreement to part ways in the 2021 offseason.

Kemba Walker To Mavericks

Kemba Walker telling his teammates where to position
Gettyimages | Elsa

Finding a trade partner for Walker wouldn't be an easy task for the Celtics. Aside from his age, health issues, and inconsistent performance in the 2020-21 NBA season, the veteran point guard is also owed a huge amount of money over the next two years. However, if they are willing to absorb another bad contract in return, the Celtics could be successful in moving Walker this summer.

One of the potential trade partners for the Celtics in the 2021 offseason is the Dallas Mavericks. Like the Celtics, the Mavericks have also suffered a disappointing playoffs and have a disgruntled star on their roster in Kristaps Porzingis.

Celtics And Mavericks Could Explore Kemba Walker-Kristaps Porzingis Trade

Kristaps Porzingis smiling after getting a favorable call
Gettyimages | Jared C. Tilton

According to Esnaashari, the Celtics and the Mavericks could engage in a "straight-up trade' involving Walker and Porzingis in the 2021 offseason.

"A straight-up trade of Walker for Porzingis could give both players fresh starts and Dallas a shorter contract (Porzingis is owed $31.7 million and $33.8 million over the next two seasons and has a $36.0 million player option for 2023-24). The playoffs showed Luka Doncic needs someone else to help create so he doesn't slow down in the fourth quarter—when he scored just 40 points in seven games on 34.9 percent shooting."

Trading Kemba Walker For Kristaps Porzingis A Worthy Gamble For Celtics

Swapping Walker for Porzingis would make a lot of sense for the Celtics. Porzingis may have failed to live up to expectations as the Mavericks' second-best player but when he's 100 percent healthy, he would be an incredible addition to the Celtics.

His potential arrival in Boston would immediately address their need for a defensive-minded big man. Porzingis would give the Celtics a starting-caliber center who is a very reliable scoring option under the basket, a great rebounder, passer, rim protector, and floor-spacer. This season, he averaged 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Celtics Form Lethal Trio Next Season

Kristaps Porzingis taking a free throw
Gettyimages | Mike Ehrmann

Porzingis would definitely be intrigued by the idea of playing for the Celtics. Though he's highly unlikely to be the focal point of the offense in Boston, the Celtics could give Porzingis a more meaningful role next season. Porzingis would still need to familiarize himself with the Celtics' system but once he meshes well with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, they could form one of the league's lethal trios next year.

The "Big Three" of Porzingis, Tatum, and Brown could put the Celtics on the same conversation as other Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers.