The Celtics will have Al Horford back by sending point guard Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City in exchange for the five-time All-Star, Brad Stevens’ first major adjustment since moving from Boston’s bench to management.
Boston will also send the 16th overall draft pick and a 2025 second-round pick to the Thunder and receive Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round draft pick in exchange.
Oklahoma City now has 19 first-round draft picks for the next seven years.
Horford returns to Boston to give the team the presence under the basket they haven’t had since he left the Celtics himself a couple of seasons ago.
The Dominican was a member of the NBA’s defensive ideal team with Boston in the 2017-18 campaign when he registered the best figures in assists of his career. Stevens, who was Horford’s coach for three seasons, said Horford played a “crucial role” during his time in Boston.
“His ability to lift his teammates up with his experience and leadership makes him a great addition,” Stevens said. “We also want to welcome Moses to Boston. He is a promising young player”.
Walker, 31, is guaranteed a salary of more than 73 million over the next two seasons.
But after helping the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference finals in the NBA bubble last season, the four-time All-Star has seen his time on the floor limited to 43 games with knee injuries. in 2021; he missed the last two games of the first-round playoff loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
By trading his salary for Horford’s, he will save the Celtics $ 9 million.