Mark R. Bacon—Main Event Sports DC
Things have come together quickly for Kemba Walker.
The star point guard has informed the Hornets that he intends to sign with the Celtics when free agency begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, according to multiple reports.
Kemba Walker plans to commit to a four-year, $141M maximum contract with the Boston Celtics after free agency opens on Sunday, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
With a sizable void left to fill, ESPN is reporting the Hornets are already considering Elfrid Payton, TJ McConnell, Ish Smith and Emmanuel Mudiay to potentially replace him.
Walker had insisted his top choice was to stay with the team that drafted him ninth overall in 2011, though it was reported that the two sides experienced “sizable gaps and stalemate” in their contract discussions, which opened the door for potential suitors.
Despite drawing interest from New York and Dallas, Boston has long been rumored to be the landing spot for Walker, who became eligible for a “supermax” deal when he was named to the All-NBA third team after the season ended.
“Charlotte’s definitely my first priority,” Walker told The Athletic earlier this month. “That’s where I’ve been for eight years and that’s all I know. Not many people get a chance to play for one NBA team throughout their career. … Charlotte is my home, man. I’ve been there for eight years and it’s been the most amazing eight years of my life. My family, they love it. The fans love me. The organization has been great and gave me my opportunity.”
Walker, 29, averaged a career-high 25.6 points, along with 5.9 assists for the Hornets last season. He shot 43.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range.