Celtics mulling split with All-Star

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The Celtics apparently aren’t great at relationships.

Boston and point guard Kemba Walker are likely to part ways this offseason in a mutual agreement, according to Bleacher Report.

The rumored split comes one week after the Celtics announced that Brad Stevens is moving from head coach to president of basketball operations, replacing the retiring Danny Ainge. The staffing move followed Boston’s first-round playoff elimination to the Nets in Game 5.

Walker, sources told the outlet, feels unwanted in Boston, specifically by Ainge, who reportedly attempted to trade him in his first year with the team.

After the Celtics failed to defeat the Heat in Game 6 of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, Ainge reportedly tried to trade Walker for guard Jrue Holiday, who ended up going to the Bucks — where he is currently competing in the East semifinals against the Nets.

The situation, according to Bleacher Report, created a rift between Walker and Ainge that left the 31-year-old feeling “hurt.”

Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics sets a play
Kemba Walker’s time with the Celtics may be short-lived.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

While the Celtics reportedly aren’t planning to move young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown – who suffered a wrist injury that sidelined him for Boston’s first-round playoff series against the Nets – finding a taker for Walker could prove difficult.

According to The Athletic, teams view Walker as a negative trade asset, meaning moving him will cost the Celtics extra assets.

The veteran has a lengthy injury history and carries a huge contract; Walker will collect $36 million in 2021-22, and has a $37 million player-option for 2022-23 as part of his four-year, $141 million max deal inked in a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets.

After being one of the most heavily sought-after free agents on the market in 2019, Walker, a Bronx native, might already be seeing his days in Boston numbered.

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