The Boston Celtics’ decision to trade away Kemba Walker shortly after their season came to a disappointing conclusion stunned a lot of people.
In the immediate aftermath, an obvious question presented itself: why?
Why make this move, and why do so suddenly?
Obviously there was chatter of Boston blowing up its entire roster this offseason, but why was Walker the first domino to drop?
According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, the real reason for Walker’s abrupt trade had a lot to do with his relationship with Brad Stevens.
“According to multiple team sources, there was some dysfunction in the locker room, with the relationship between Stevens and Walker characterized as tension-filled,” he wrote.
“Sources also suggest that Stevens was also perceived to be harder on Walker than on other top players. This came in the wake of Gordon Hayward’s departure from the Celtics, after which sources said Hayward told Stevens he needed to establish a stronger voice with players if they were going to win.
“Several team sources felt Stevens was more aggressive with certain players this season, which included Walker who was criticized for his defensive mistakes. Those sources said Walker and Stevens began to butt heads, though the pair were considered to have a productive working relationship with the Celtics and had mutual respect for one another.”
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 14, 2021
Between trading away Jayson Tatum’s best friend and opting out of a trade for James Harden for the weirdest of reasons, it has been a rough year for the Celtics.
Will dumping Walker prove to be the solution to their problems? Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.