The Celtics and veteran point guard Kemba Walker are each aiming to part ways with the other this offseason, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
Brian Robb of MassLive reported last week that the Celtics will explore Walker trades ahead of the NBA Draft in late July.
Meanwhile, Mannix added that the Celtics have floated Walker in trades dating back to last offseason, when they offered him in a proposed deal with the Spurs for since-retired forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge.
Mannix reported that Walker was “frustrated” after learning he was involved in trade talks, with the veteran player placing a high degree of importance on loyalty.
Walker is due $36 million next season and Robb’s sources indicated the Celtics will try to move on from that massive deal to “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.
Former coach Brad Stevens has taken over for Danny Ainge as Boston’s president of basketball operations, and word is, Ainge told Stevens it might behoove the team to continue to search for possible Walker trades.
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.