The Boston Celtics have traded point guard Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford and Moses Brown, sources tell The Athletic.
As part of the trade package, Oklahoma City also will receive Boston’s No. 16 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and a 2025 second-round draft pick. The Thunder will send a 2023 second-round pick to the Celtics.
During two seasons with the Celtics, Walker averaged 19.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 99 games. The four-time All-Star struggled with a bone bruise during the Celtics’ first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, missing the final two games.
Kemba Walker, 31, has two years and more than $73 million remaining on his contract.
Horford, 35, returns to Boston after previously playing for the franchise from 2016 to 2019. He has two years and $53.5 million remaining on his contract, with a partial guarantee of $14.5 million for the 2022-23 season. Horford was sent to the Thunder from the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade for Danny Green last November.
Moses Brown, 21, averaged 8.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in his second season and signed a multi-year deal with Oklahoma City in March.
Why Boston made the move now
Jay King, Celtics beat writer: Though Walker was still productive when healthy, the Celtics gave up a first-round pick to move off his big contract and acquire a player in Horford who should provide a better fit. The move, which helped Boston clear some salary, could also help the team afford to keep free agent Evan Fournier.
The Celtics added a young center prospect in Moses Brown, but old friend Horford will likely play a bigger role on next season’s team. It’s not great Boston needed to dump a first-round pick to move Kemba Walker, but a recent history of knee issues drove down his value and convinced the team to move on.
What do the Celtics get in Horford and Brown?
King: The Celtics know Horford’s game well, of course. He bounced back with a productive season in Oklahoma City after struggling with a weird fit on the 76ers.
Horford will give Boston a pick-and-pop layer it didn’t have last season. He should make the game easier for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, bolster the defense and serve as a good example for young big man Robert Williams.
Moses Brown, 21, is a young center prospect with upside and had one huge game against the Celtics this past season.