Boston is undergoing a shift in the front office, with coach Brad Stevens taking over for Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations. So it will be Stevens who will be making roster decisions and potential trades this offseason.
Walker is due $36 million next season and Robb’s sources indicated the Celtics will try to move on from that massive deal “help create some current and future salary flexibility and reduce what is currently set to be the highest tax bill in team history,” he wrote.
As for Smart, there could be some drawbacks to a move. Namely, the Celtics may not be able to get equal value in return.
Per Robb, Smart “is a useful trade chip but he only has one year left on his deal so his value is limited on the open market. One league source told MassLive that getting a late first round pick for Smart would be a challenge unless Boston took back an unattractive contract as part of the deal.”
Boston finished 36-36 and was eliminated by the Nets in the first round of the playoffs.
Walker, 31, averaged 19.3 points and 4.9 assists in 43 regular-season games. Smart, 27, averaged 13.1 points and 5.7 assists in 48 games and is widely considered one of the NBA’s best defensive guards.