Now if you’re listening to the mountains of sports coverage in Boston today or heard any of the national coverage, you would think that everyone has forgotten how to read a press release.
Sure, the Celtics have successfully walked away from 2 years of a $73 million dollar bad knee Kemba Walker contract and replaced that with the return of Al Horford to Boston. But what everyone has failed to comment on is the fact that Brad Stevens, the Celtics’ new president of basketball operations gave up the No. 16 overall pick in this year’s draft.
You can bet that Stevens will be praised by the Boston and National media for starting to clean house, but the reality is he was actually fleeced by the first-round hungry OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti who has now accumulated 19 first-round draft picks through 2027.
While I have no proof, I’m willing to bet that Presti stopped responded to Stevens text messages until it included a first-round draft pick emoji.
Yes, it is true that from a team chemistry standpoint Horford is a solid fit for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and from a cap hit perspective Boston is saving roughly $20 million dollars as Horford has $53 million left on his contract.
Still, I do not understand why Stevens gave up a 16th overall draft pick as part of the deal. While Horford is loved in Boston by the fans and respected by the Celtics players, Horford’s overall production is considerably below that of Walker.
The reality is this one of those deals that looks good on the day it happens and turns out to be bad on draft day.
“Kemba is a true professional and a great teammate and player,” Stevens said in a statement. “I want to thank him for his tremendous impact, and the positive contribution he’s made both to the Celtics and the City of Boston.”
Horford reacts to Celtics trade on Instagram, notes ‘unfinished business’
Kendric Perkins chimes in with his opinions on ESPN’s “First Take”
“Oh, I love it. I see Brad (Stevens) making power moves as soon as he steps foot in the office,” Perkins said. “I love it, and here’s why. He’s telling Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, ‘This is your team.’ Now you don’t have to worry about can Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, can they play together? Who’s going to share the ball? How can you make this work? We don’t have to worry about that. Bringing back Al Horford was huge. He’s loved by the Celtics’ fans, he’s respected by the organization, but most importantly, he brings value to that team. He stretches the floor. He’s a great leader. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum love ‘Big Al.’”