The changes begin: Kemba, with a foot and a half out of Boston

The Celtics' experiment with Kemba Walker may be coming to an end. The point guard and the franchise work for his exit.


The Celtics are immersed in a phase of change. Condemned to the corner of thinking after the elimination of the Nets in the first round, the green franchise lives a gargantuan crisis, with only one ring (2008) in the last 35 years after having added 16 in its first 40. The bad season, with a play-in that nobody wanted to play and to which they have been doomed after being favorites for the title at the beginning of the course. The mismanagement of Danny Ainge and the worn narrative of Brad Stevens heralded changes, some of which have already occurred: the coach has refused to return to Butler University and leaves the benches to go up to the offices, where he will replace Ainge himself . The manager, for his part, is retiring, who knows if, from the NBA, after an astonishing legacy and as one of the most important basketball characters in the history of the franchise.

Stevens thus arrives at the offices with a lot to do, among other things, to build a team around Jayson Tatum that will dream of the ring again, something for which they have wicked after playing three Conference finals in the last eight years. For that, he will have to end Ainge's conservatism and make structural changes (in addition to looking for a coach, of course), that invite optimism. The string of untouchables has become very large in recent times and some pieces have to be sacrificed to make a competitive group work that has come face to face with reality in a year marked by injuries and the coronavirus, but also by the absence of a dominant center that the squad lacks since the departure of Al Horford, and a forward who can defend in interior positions and has a good shot of three (Aaron Gordon's dream faded, like so many others, in the winter market ) .

One of those changes could happen through the base position. Kemba Walker has been a pivotal player in Stevens' scheme since he came to the franchise in 2019, but his game has suffered in Boston. As a Hornets star, Kemba was used to leading the charge and creating his own shots, but in their new adventure, Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been in charge of raising the ball, which has caused the point guard to stop developing his powerful penetrations. and his good reading of the pick and roll, and has remained a man who spent a lot of time behind the line of three and who had to develop a catch and shoot with which he is not too comfortable. His shooting problems have been a constant (42% this last season with more than 8 attempts per night) and his difficulties in attack did not translate into an iron defense, which always took a Marcus Smart much loved by fans to another level. green

In addition, and as the journalist Farbod Esnaashari has revealed in Bleacher Report, Ainge's intention was to transfer Kemba to Jrue Holiday after the bubble, something that the base did not like at all and that damaged his relationship with the manager . The point guard, not comfortable being transfer meat, has reached an agreement with the franchise and both parties are looking for a friendly way out. At 31, Kemba looks for a new opportunity to look for the ring, while the Celtics would save the 36 million that the player has insured for the next season. For now, rumors are beginning about the green team, which has always been a candidate to be the protagonist of many transfers in recent years, but has always stayed with honey on its lips. Brad Stevens' goal will be to change that dynamic. And that of the franchise as a whole, of course.

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