Report: Celtics now 'at the front of the line' for free agent Kemba Walker

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By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

NBA insider Marc Stein reported out of nowhere on Tuesday that the Celtics emerged as "stealth suitors" for impending free-agent point guard Kemba Walker. Which is a bit of a paradox - how does one emerge stealthily?

But anyway, Stein has not just doubled down on his report - he says the Celtics' chances are even better. He added later on Tuesday that the C's and Mavericks are now "at the front of the line" for Walker's services.

Such a move would require Walker's current team, the Charlotte Hornets, to decline offering him a "super-max" deal, which (h/t James Stewart and Brian Robb) would be a five-year deal for $221.3 million - an outrageous AAV of $44.3 million.

The Celtics, meanwhile, could offer him your standard run-of-the-mill max deal at four years and $140.6 million. In order to clear the necessary $35.2 million in cap space, the Celtics would need to renounce the rights to their three restricted free agents (Terry Rozier, Daniel Theis, Brad Wanamaker) and move one more contract off the books. They'd get to about $34 million just by renouncing their RFAs.

For a Celtics team that may need to wait 3-4 more years anyway to see young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown reach their full potential, signing an All-Star like Walker to a max deal this summer may not be as crazy as it sounds.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].