Kemba Walker will leave the Hornets for the Celtics.
And apparently Terry Rozier will leave the Celtics for the Hornets.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports:
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:
Horford seemed ready to leave Boston, and that gave the Celtics the max cap space to pursue Walker. So, re-signing Horford now will be tricky. The Celtics want to remain over the cap with Horford’s Bird Rights intact. Signing-and-trading for Walker could accomplish that.
But if Horford wants to leave, he can. He’s an unrestricted free agent.
A $19 million annual salary is high for Rozier. He struggled behind Kyrie Irving last season, though he showed more promise the year prior. Perhaps, he takes the next step in his desired starting role in Charlotte. But that’s a large bet for the Hornets to make. They’re capped out either way, but this contract could encumber them in future years.
Acquiring Walker in a sign-and-trade would hard-cap the Celtics at $138,928,000 next season. So, they probably can’t keep Horford and use the full mid-level exception (though it’s possible depending on other moves). But even if Horford leaves, getting the mid-level exception is enough enticement to do the sign-and-trade.
Charlotte doesn’t have the ability to pay Rozier so much outright. So the sign-and-trade is the Hornets’ only path to getting him.